Your resume is one of the first things a potential employer sees from you. Many employers make judgments about whether or not to have you come in and interview based on what they see in your resume. (It’s also important to have a good cover letter and to have a personal statement.) As a result, your resume should be easy to read, and it should emphasize the the skills and experience that fit you for the job. As you prepare your resume, avoid the following 7 mistakes:
Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid
1. Lack of Professional Email Contact
Let’s be honest. The email address [email protected] is not going to win you cheerleaders in the company. Another issue is college email addresses. What happens when you graduate and the address expires? It’s a good idea to come up with a professional email address (perhaps incorporating your name) at a permanent mail provider. Something permanent and professional will mean you can be reached, and it will indicate that you are ready to enter the professional world.
2. Long Resume
Employers just want a taste of you. A resume that goes beyond a page is too long. Don’t confuse a resume with your curriculum vitae, which is supposed to be long. If you are running out of room, carefully consider what to leave in. (Hint: It should be items that highlight what makes you great for the job.)
3. Lack of Customization
Customize your resume for the job. A generic resume is easy for hiring managers to spot. Instead, read the description and highlight items that show your fitness for the job. Make sure to include keywords in your resume, and move things around. If the job is skills-heavy, move that section to the top. If you are applying for a teaching job, list that experience before other jobs.
Proofread your resume before you send it out. Look for typos, misspellings and other issues. Make sure your formatting is consistent so that your resume is easy to read. Also check for grammar issues like its vs. it’s, their vs. they’re and your vs. you’re.
5. Listing Your References
Don’t list your references on your resume. You should have references available on another sheet, but you don’t need to put them on the resume. It is assumed that if the employer wants references, you will be asked. Listing references takes up valuable space.
6. Highlighting Duties over Accomplishments
One of the biggest mistakes is turning a resume into a laundry list of duties you have performed. Instead of creating a boring list, consider highlighting what you have accomplished. This will show potential employers that you have done something, and make them more interested in interviewing you. Use action-based words to help employers visualize what you have done:
- Improved efficiency
- Saved money
- Built relationships
- Solved problems
- Attracted new clients
- Helped students develop skills
- Increased sales by x% or x dollars
7. Resume is Poorly Organized
Take some time to think of the way your resume is organized. Try to avoid templates, since many of those resumes are hard to edit — and they look the same. Think of how you can show individuality while still maintaining a logical organization that is clean and easy to read. Avoid cluttering up the resume with a border and images.
What other mistakes are common to resumes?