7 Way-too-Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid
Despite the digital nature of job-seeking today, there’s still no substitute for a rock-solid resume.
That said, the resume is an easier document to mess up than you might think.
Watch out for these all-too-common resume blunders that may be keeping you from landing your dream job.
You’re a great speller, right? Of course you are! So why would you need someone else to proof-read your resume? What are you – in the 5th grade?!
That attitude is what makes smart people look stupid on paper. Don’t make the same mistake. Always get someone who didn’t write the original draft to proof-read your entireresume before you send it out.
2. Way too much text
We get it! You got skills. But considering that recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds skimming your resume, time is of the essence. Get to the point. If you can highlight your most relevant skills in fewer words, do it.
3. Not enough emphasis on transferable skills
Not all skills are created equal in the resume world. Employers want to see what you’ve mastered in the past that’s relevant to the future. So if there’s a set of skills you gained in your last job that isn’t applicable to the job you’re applying for, you may be better off leaving them out. Focus on what’s transferable. You might even opt to write a skills-based resume, especially if your last job isn’t totally relevant to where you want to head next.
4. Boring objective statement
Please don’t hit me with that basic statement that you’re looking for a “fast-paced environment” where you can “grow your skills” and “be part of a great team.” If you’re going to take up the best resume real estate with a statement, make it count! Write something unique, personal, and relevant specifically to the job you’re applying for. The same can be said for your personal statement on LinkedIn.
5. Using personal pronouns
To keep your resume concise and professional-sounding, eliminate the use of personal pronouns like “I” and “me,” and reduce your use of articles.
I developed new operational guidelines that added $1.4 million in sales and increased the gross margin by 2%.
Should be changed to:
Developed new operational guidelines that added $1.4 million in sales and increased gross margin by 2%.
This also makes bragging easier. Writing this way gives a little psychological distance between you and your brag by eliminating the personal pronouns. Now it sounds less like you’re talking about how great you are and more like a third party is stating your achievements as facts.
6. Not including keywords
Nowadays, employers are turning to automated solutions to help sift through massive digital piles of resumes and find the perfect match. Make sure you’re in the right stack by including keywords you see appearing again and again in the jobs you’re applying for. If there’s a specific program or certification that is often brought up, make sure you include its name, even if you have to disclose that you’re in the process of mastering it.
7. Using the same resume for every job
This is troublingly common. If you’re sitting behind your desk, firing off the same resume over and over again through endless job site portals, you’re doing it wrong. To me, there’s no substitute for building solid relationships through networking meetings and then following up with a relevant, tailored resume.
So get out from behind your computer screen, register for a free upcoming event, and remember, your resume is an important piece of paper, but it doesn’t substitute for real-world relationships.
What questions do you have for writing the perfect resume?
Leave them below and I’ll answer them in an upcoming video post!
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