1) Treating your resume like a one-size-fits-all document
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can use the same resume for every position that you apply to. Yes, you can have a general resume as a base. But, before you hit that send button, make sure it has qualifications that match the opening you’re applying to.
2) Overlooking the details
What is the email address on your resume? “CrazyGuy21@hotmail.com” is not going to cut it. Keep it professional. Whether it’s justified or not, listing a Hotmail, AOL or other older email provider can make you look less web savvy. This could hurt you – even if you’re not going for a computer related opening. Also, make sure the font is easy to read and large enough. Remember, not everyone has 20/20 vision. Along the same lines – don’t cram too much onto one page. Editing is your friend. Less is more. Think quality over quantity. If you have to go onto two pages, that’s fine – IF you have the career progression, job tenure and accomplishments to warrant it.
3) Not having someone else look over your resume
You can work on your resume for hours, and it never fails – there’s a typo and you miss it. UGH! Make sure you get a second and even a third set of eyes to proofread your resume before you send it out. We are too close to our own work to be objective. In addition, be open to suggestions for improvements. You don’t have to act on every idea, but there could be a gem or two offered that you never thought of.
4) Ignoring the wealth of free information out there
There’s no excuse to not take advantage of all the resume advice on the web. College career planning offices post great articles. You can also check out the job search and resume advice sections on sites like Forbes, US News & World Report, Monster and CareerBuilder. Take advantage of their experts. I follow career experts on Twitter as well. Just seeing career related content can help motivate you during your search. Resume formats and trends (especially using keywords and making resumes appropriate for online application systems) have changed over the years, and successful job seekers stay on top of it.
5) Failing to customize
I work with recruiters who receive hundreds of resumes weekly. It’s surprising to learn that a large number of people do not take the time to tweak their resume bullet points to more closely match the job opening. While you can do this in a cover letter as well, we advise doing both. Note – this is not a license to exaggerate or lie. You have to have the experience and credentials!
6) Relying on responsibilities
Too many job seekers simply list what they did at a job on their resume. Big mistake! You want to highlight what you accomplished. Focus on results, not responsibilities. How much money did you save? How did you increase efficiency? You can easily transform most job duties into quantitative qualifications. Here’s an example:
- In charge of writing press releases for the organization
- Wrote over 30 press releases annually, resulting in numerous product placements (radio/print/TV/online) nationally – including major markets
Your bullet points will vary based on the industry, but anyone, at any level of job – from manager to entry level employee, can do this. Numbers and percentages really stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. It helps to save kudos, project results and accomplishments (emails, etc.) throughout the year so you have material to work with when trying to come up with these numbers. The goal is to translate your daily tasks into concrete stats that SHOW the positive difference you made at your company.
So, are you ready to look over your resume and make it the best it can be?Hopefully, these easy to implement resume to-do’s will make 2015 the year your resume rocks!
Looking for more job search advice? Check out this post on How To Network If You Don’t Like To Network.
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This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.
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