Your resume is the first thing that companies ask for when you apply for a job. It is your first opportunity to make a good impression on the powers that be. With hundreds of people applying for that same job, it is important that your resume gets noticed by human resources. It should be perfect.
Human resources personnel and various hiring managers would all tell you that it is important that your resume is devoid of any errors. Due to the hundreds of resumes that they go through every day, they will only have one or two minutes to read your resume and having to read through a less than perfect resume is the top pet peeve of potential employers. Mistakes give the impression that you are sloppy worker and that you don’t care about doing a great job. It means that you did not take the time to proofread your work and fix any mistakes that you have made. Resume mistakes are deal breakers.
Here are five resume mistakes that you should avoid.
- Misspellings and Incorrect Grammar
Having misspelled words and using incorrect grammar is a surefire way to get your resume tossed in the trash. Writing is a basic skill that any employer looks for in a prospective employee. With spellcheck and grammar check available in almost every word processing software out there, there is absolutely no excuse for turning in single piece of paper that does not have i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
- Using a Complicated Format
Hiring managers need to read through your resume as quickly as possible and they should be be able to assess it on the spot to see if you are a good fit for the job. That means that you should keep your resume businesslike and easy to read. You want to avoid using perfumed or colored paper, adding design elements that would give your resume an artistic touch, or using complicated fonts. Stick with fonts that are easy to read. One of the worst things you can do is make the font too small to read because you are trying to cram everything onto one page.
At the same time, using a cookie cutter format can also be the kiss of death. Using a standard template would only cause your resume to look the same as everybody else’s. It could be a sign that you lack imagination and do not have any novel ideas to contribute to the company. So, you want to take the time to modify the generic template or design to make it your own, but you want to make sure to keep it as professional as possible.
- Gaps in your Career Timeline
Prospective employers want to see continued employment and updating of your skills. If there is a gap of more than six months in your timeline, they have a tendency to become suspicious. In some cases, they might question that during the interview. In other cases, they might just set your resume aside.
Be honest and fill in those resume gaps. If you were not employed during those periods, there are ways to spin it in a positive way. If you were a housewife and stay at home mom for several years, that is a full time job. If you decided to take time off from work and travel, that comes with a whole new set of life skills that can be utilized in the workplace.
- Putting your Photo in your Resume
Gender equality, workplace diversity and ethnic inclusion are all hot topics in the workplace right now. Companies are encouraged to be unbiased when it comes to a person’s background. The way you look should never be a reason to hire or fire you. All that matters should be your ability to get things done and the value that you bring to the company. Putting in your photo removes that impartiality and allows people to judge you by your looks, so don’t do it.
- Sending the Wrong Electronic Format
Gone are the days where you pounded on the pavement, visited companies and handed in your resumes personally. Everything is done electronically these days through job hunting websites or the companies career websites. Most companies will ask for an electronic format of your resume. You should always send it in the format that they request. They might be unable to open it if you send in a different format. Prior to sending in your resume, email it to yourself to check that the format is retained. Different software versions might cause your resume to lose its formatting.
To avoid these mistakes, never forget to read through your resume several times and make any corrections. A fresh perspective might also help, and you can get a friend or two to proofread it as well. A resume without any mistakes is the first step to getting that job of your dreams.
What other resume mistakes can you think off? How can you address those mistakes?