Job seekers often don't realize the errors they have made when creating their resume. They aren't fully aware of current resume guidelines, and therefore think what they have created is up to industry standards. Unfortunately, a resume that doesn't meet the necessary criteria may be cast on the discard pile. If you have made one of the following resume mistakes, consider modifying your resume appropriately to increase your chance of getting called for an interview.
Resume Wording that Doesn't Show What You Actually Did
Many resumes are actually just a list of job responsibilities, and resemble a job description more than describing your talents. Take a look at your resume. Do your bullets start with the following phrases:
If so, consider rewording. None of the above phrases provide the hiring manager a picture of what you actually did. They all indicate what you were supposed to do, but don't demonstrate how you successfully handled your role.
For example, if you were "responsible for leading the sales team," consider re-wording to provide details. How many people did you lead? What success did you achieve? Did sales increase? By what percentage? What did you implement to make that happen?
Providing action verbs and details is necessary to demonstrate to the hiring manager how your previous successes make you the right candidate for the opening they have.
Your Value is Unclear
Did you create one resume and submit it for multiple roles? If so, your value may be unclear to the hiring manager. Remember, the person reviewing your resume is trying to determine if you will be a good fit for the position they are looking to fill. If your resume is generic and doesn't clearly demonstrate your value, it will be hard for them to determine if you are a viable candidate.
Make sure you optimize your resume for the specific job opening you are applying to. Look at the job description and verify that your resume addresses the criteria listed there. Your resume should show how your unique skills, experience and education would be a good match for the new role. Be sure your value is clearly demonstrated.
Resume Submitted with Errors
We can't emphasize this enough: it is critical to submit a resume that is error-free! Be sure you review and revise to correct any spelling or grammatical errors you may not have noticed when you were initially creating your resume. Check for any typos, particularly in your contact information section.
Consider having a friend take a look to identify any errors you may have accidentally missed. Or, request a resume critique from Revision Resume. We would be happy to take a look at your resume and let you know areas where you could improve it.
Poor Resume Formatting
Is your resume easy to skim? Does it have bullets, indentations and bolding to help the reader easily spot important information? Or, do you instead have large chunks of text and misaligned dates?
After you have written your resume, take time to look at the overall formatting and consider ways to make improvements. If your resume is hard to skim or read, it may not end up being fully evaluated. If it looks unprofessional, it gives the appearance of being unprofessional.
Resume formatting is difficult, and often people try using a resume template as an attempt to make it easier. However, this frequently causes more headaches than it is worth. Invariably, your resume will have something that doesn't quite fit with the template. Then, you end up spending lots of time trying to fix the template, which is time wasted. Avoid using a template, and you will avoid giving yourself extra challenges.
Does your resume include information from high school, yet you are out of college? Does it span your entire career, which is 25 years long? If so, your resume may have outdated information.
We recommend only going back 10-15 years on your resume. Unfortunately, age discrimination does exist. By limiting the number of years of your career that your resume covers, you will not be advertising your age. Remember, a resume doesn't have to be a full historical account of your career. It should be targeted for the position you are seeking.
High School Information
If you have graduated from college, eliminate your high school information. Hiring managers don't want to see your high school information, so it is a waste of valuable resume space. Instead, focus on your college successes and any work experience you have.
Creating a resume is challenging. Job seekers often struggle with the five mistakes listed above. If you need help creating a resume that shows what you actually did, demonstrates your value, and follows current resume guidelines, Revision Resume is here to help. To learn how we can assist you, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website here.
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