Finding a position you want begins with a resume that avoids common mistakes that you really have control over! When it comes to your resume, nothing is more important than tooling up a tighter, sleeker, more polished resume. Believe it or not, a hiring decision can be made in minutes, sometimes in mere seconds; so perceptions made by the hiring professional really are reality. Although there are many factors to consider, you are more likely to shine while applying for the job you are seeking if you will avoid these 8 easy to correct resume blunders:
1. Watch the typos and grammatical errors.
First and foremost, if you don’t want to appear as one who “doesn’t care” or one who “is unable to write”, pay attention to this one. This is the easiest problem to fix. “Unfavorable” writing can derail your opportunities. Microsoft Word’s “spell check” function searches for both spelling and grammatical mistakes, so go ahead, “spell check” your resume. Be sure it’s all correct--you won’t be sorry.
2. Be sure you do not give away personal information or other non-essential information.
Some information is not necessary to share. You won’t need to tell your age, marital status, religion, gender or social security information-matter of fact, they don’t want or need it. In addition, you won’t want to include your GPA if it was lower than a 3.8 and you’ve been out of school for longer than 3 years. References on your resume—that’s what your application is for, not the resume. Don’t worry, your hiring professional will request references from you personally if they want them.
3. Be sure you do not list your hobbies or past irrelevant work experiences.
If your hobbies or past work experiences are not relevant to the job you’re applying for, then it’s a waste of your resume space. You only get so much space (1 page is best) and at this point in time, the company isn’t interested until of course you’re hired on and they’re getting to know you. Once hired, then they will want to know if you are the corn hole champion of rural Kentucky! Enough said lol.
4. Be sure to avoid using personal pronouns.
The resume is all about you and the hiring professional already knows that. Third person words to be avoided are “I”, “me,” “she,” or “my”. He/she will be wondering if you are a “team player” or not and most jobs need you to be one.
5. Be sure to leave salary information off of your resume.
The resume is no place for salary information; it is a showcase of your professional experience and skills. Your hiring professional will ask for this information in the interview—if salary is important. If employers require an application, you will have an opportunity to reflect salary there.
6. Be sure you don’t use a “hard to read” font and make your application “busy looking”. Times Roman is out. Use a sleeker, more updated font like Arial or Calibri. They are easier on the eye too. Use the same font throughout otherwise it could feel like walking through a visual minefield—busy and mind boggling. It may even give your hiring professional a headache. Get someone you trust to look it over and ask them if it looks attractive to them. If not, reduce the content and adjust fonts and alignment before handing it out.
7. Be sure to avoid slang and use more professional words instead.
There are terms that employers prefer to see if used in moderation, such as “started”, “organized” and “managed”. Words that you don’t want to use? CareerBuilder feels that words that describe you, like “people pleaser” are out. Instead, use relevant key words to write accomplishments made in your career and you will be seen as “career focused.” Be sure your key words are clear and give your interviewer “a visual”. So something like this would be good…”Started a library of 100 indexed company journals and magazines, arranging them for quick access” instead of “Organized the company’s journals and magazines.”
8. Eliminate incorrect contact information.
Last but not least. You’d be surprised the number of phone numbers that are transposed on a resume. If you are wanting a call back, be sure this you are giving accurate contact info! Bottom line—check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details right away. This is your final step. Give it one more “comb over” just to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Remember, a professional, career oriented, sleek and grammatically correct resume will go far in helping you to land that job you have been wanting. Once your resume is polished, then GO for it with confidence! Best of luck!