What's the first thing a hiring manager sees? It's your resume, and that means it better make a good first impression. In one (or sometimes two) pages, you need to be able to summarize your work history, showcase your skills and exemplify why you're the candidate they're looking for. One wrong step, and your chances of landing the job could be over.
Every day, hiring managers see hundreds of resumes. And according to CareerBuilder, almost half of them say they spend less than a minute looking at each one. So it's important that yours is as perfect as possible.
If you want to make sure your resume shines, you need to avoid making any faux pas. First, learn to recognize what's wrong or missing, and then figure out how you can fix it. Take a look at this list and see if you're making any of these seven common mistakes on your resume:
1. Making typos or grammar errors
You could be the perfect candidate for a position, but if you have a typo in your resume, hiring managers will pass you by. That's because typos make you seem careless and lazy - and definitely not the kind of candidate they want on their team.
Avoid losing your credibility and make sure you check and recheck your resume. Catching your own errors can be difficult, so recruit a friend or peer to look it over for you. Try reading your resume out loud, too. It may be easier to catch something when you say it, rather than when you read it in your head.
2. Not tailoring for a specific job
Is your resume one-size-fits-all? When it comes to resumes, one size definitely does not fit all job postings. If you're using the same resume to apply for multiple jobs, you're missing out on the opportunity to stand out and show why you and you alone are perfect for that specific job.
Take a look at the description for the position you're applying for. What keywords can you include in your resume to align with what they're looking for? You want to make sure you come across as the perfect candidate, and your resume needs to reflect that.
3. Listing duties instead of accomplishments
It's easy to fall into the trap of just listing your duties for all of your past jobs on your resume. For example, if you're a graphic designer, maybe your resume sounds like this:
- Designed newsletters, promotional materials and sales collateral
- Created design theme for marketing presentations
- Collaborated with sales and marketing to complete graphic design projects
While it may seem like this is valuable information to share with the hiring manager, you're not showing your accomplishments and what you've achieved. Instead, try using active and quantifiable statements to show how you've added value in your previous positions like this:
- Successfully completed graphic design projects worth up to $500,000
- Developed new graphics production process, increasing efficiency by 42%
- Earned award for logo creation
4. Not visually appealing
Besides making sure your resume has all the necessary and relevant information, you also want it to look good. If you're manipulating your margins and using a tiny font size in an effort to stuff as much text on the page as possible, your resume is just going to end up in the trash.
You want your resume to look inviting and visually appealing. The employer should want to read it, right? If you're unsure, ask your friends or peers to take a look. If they think your resume might be too hard on the eyes, you'll need to revise.
5. Using cliches or jargon
There are some phrases that almost everyone wants to use on their resume. Phrases like "team player," "self-starter" and "strong communication skills" are so overused that they've completely lost their meaning. In fact, many employers weed out candidates who use these phrases.
Scan your resume and take out any vague or cliche phrases like this - or consider rephrasing to be more specific. You'll also want to avoid using any jargon, especially terms specific to your current or previous company.
6. Forgetting or using incorrect contact information
If there's one thing you absolutely need to get right on your resume, it's your contact information. If you forget to include it or make a mistake and include a wrong phone number or address, how will the hiring manager be able to get in contact with you? Your contact info should be clear and easy to find. Otherwise, your job search will hit a dead end.
7. Including personal information
Besides your name, address, email and phone number, you shouldn't include any other personal information on your resume. Everything else should be related to your professional experience and skills.
Leave the following off your resume:
- Marital status
- Social security number
- Religious preferences
Ready to get your resume in front of the right employers? Apply for a job with The BOSS Group today!