You may believe you have the best resume on file but there is always room for improvement. To give you an added edge, we have compiled a list of 10 common resumes mistakes and a solution for each blunder.
1. Omitting your “skills” section.”
If you lack actual work experience then having a great “skills” section can really distinguish you from other applicants. For example, if you are fluent in another language then that could be a big asset to a business that deals with international clients. Similarly, being proficient in CSS or HTML could really benefit a business that needs to rebuild their website. Companies will never know if you don’t showcase your skills.
2. Not celebrating your promotions.
Have you received a promotion every year on the job? Any promotion is quite the accomplishment and as such, should be highlighted. Make sure to note how long you were at each leg of your journey with said company. Sales companies will love to see that you’ve excelled and worked hard to get to where you ultimately ended up — determination and follow-through are very desirable characteristics in any sales professional.
3. Failing to include your LinkedIn information.
It’s important to let your employers know that you’re plugged into the professional social networking world and understand how to stay up-to-date. Put your LinkedIn URL at the bottom of your contact information before your email and phone number so that your potential employer can have easy access to your digital resume.
4. Using “special” paper.
When going to an interview, the rule of thumb is to bring in a hard copy of your resume in case your employer needs to take a quick look. You will find that there are a lot of options in terms of types of paper. Though custom resume paper is very pretty, stationery or fancy paper will not make a difference when they look over your credentials. Stick to your regular computer paper and they’ll be impressed you even brought a hard copy.
5. Getting too wordy.
It’s great to have a lot to say about your previous experience — just don’t get too wordy. List the meat and potatoes of what you did at each position and save the flowery words for the actual interview; you don’t want to repeat back to an employer what they already know about your position. White space is important on a resume and when you make the margins smaller and smaller, your resume becomes engulfed in text and makes it seem as though you are trying to hard to cram as much as you can onto one piece of paper. Pick the most important things and stick to those.
6. Including your headshot.
Unless you are applying for a modeling or film-acting job, there is no reason for you to be attaching a headshot to a resume. Your employer should be bringing you in because they like your experience, not because of what you look like.
7. Not syncing up your online profiles.
Make sure that your resume, LinkedIn profile and any other job profiles you have all say the same thing. If different experiences are listed on different profiles it will confuse the employer and make you seem disorganized.
8. Using headers and/or footers.
In theory this is the most helpful tool when creating a resume, but for some reason headers and footers don’t translate well when traveling across different operating systems. Nix them and you won’t have any problems.
9. Putting experience on your resume that is outdated.
Showcasing your experience is important, but putting things on your resume that date further back than five years becomes unnecessary and unimportant. You can explain all of your skills in your cover letter; stick to your most recent employment on your resume.
10. Including basic skills.
These days, it is safe to assume everyone that is applying for a job is proficient in Microsoft Office, has good communication skills and knows how to keep things organized and on track. Listing skills such as these in your “skills” section makes it seem as though you have no interesting or definable skills and so you had to pick some out of a hat to put on your resume. You’ve definitely got more interesting skills than the basic ones!