Resume writing is an essential skill for finding your ideal job. But many professionals are still making the same mistakes.
You have the skills and the experience to get the job you want, but you’re not the only one. The harsh reality is that you’re vying for a job against a sea of people and some are as qualified for the position as you are. Because of that, it’s not always easy to get your foot in the door. But your first line of defense is always a strong resume.
Boomers tend to baulk at the idea of still using the traditional resume for their job search. Many of you may be at the point in your career that your experience gets you in the interview room. For that reason, some may have neglected their resume writing skills and when it comes time to compete against the other applicants, your resume is not up to snuff. They suffer the same pitfalls that cause countless qualified professionals to miss out on good job opportunities. Don’t fall into the same category. There’s always time to improve your resume writing. Consider these common mistakes and whether or not your resume is can get you the job.
Resumes are not the time to get creative. You may think that employers and recruiters get tired of seeing the same old resume over and over. Maybe you think yours will stand out from the crowd if you change things up a bit. Understand that employers get an endless amount of resumes coming in. They want to know where all the information is right away. If they have to go seeking out your work experience and references due to poor formatting, you’re more likely to irritate them. If you’re not sure what sort of format a professional resume should look like, there are plenty of examples online which you should stick closely to.
Instinct might have you think that a longer resume will help to show just how many accomplishments you have, but you need to keep things to a reasonable length. Two pages is the golden length to aim for. You should work to keep to that length, regardless of how many more accomplishments you feel you should cram in there. Shape your experience and credentials to the job at hand. Keep it clear and concise so whomever reads it will easily be able to see why you’re right for the job
We’ve talked about the importance of using those key words all recruiters look for in resumes, but you need to be careful not to hit those certain words that are too vague to really mean anything. “Hardworking”, “team player”, “results driven”—these all sound good but without anything to back it up then they’re not as impressive as you might think. Use actually accomplishments to highlight your skills and avoid the pointless clichés.
It really shouldn’t need to be said. By now, everyone should know that their resume needs to be thoroughly proofread before it’s submitted. Unfortunately, too many qualified resumes get tossed out because the applicant didn’t take the time to look things over. It looks incredibly unprofessional, lazy and incompetent– certainly not qualities employers look for. What’s more, it’s easy to avoid. Read it over several times, taking breaks in between reviews to catch any grammatical or spelling mistakes.
Ignoring the job description.
You know those important key phrases we were talking about? You can find those in the job description. You should not start writing your resume until you’ve gone over the description several times and have a solid idea of what they’re looking for. These are meant to be your guide for the application process. Everything you need know about the position is right there for you to use. Take that valuable information to help shape your resume into that of a prime candidate.
Aside from your grammar and spelling, there’s plenty more aspects you need to consider in order to make your resume as professional as possible. First things first, you’ll need a professional email address. You can have a social email that you share with your friends but if your email name is anything but you name and some numbers, you’ll need to get a second one for job applications. Stick to professional language and tone. Avoid any inclination to be humourous. Stick to a reasonable and easy to read font, and don’t even think about using a font other than black. Straight-forward is the aim for your resume, stick to that and you’ll be fine.
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