There are so many ways you can write a resume. I encourage my clients to create resumes that display their own individuality. There is no way to please everyone with your resume, so make sure it pleases you. That having been said, there are some mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
- Spelling or grammar errors – We’ve all turned in a document with an error on it. It happens. Those errors cannot occur on your resume. It’s important to edit, edit, and edit some more. The most common error that I see during resume consultations is inappropriate capitalization. Only proper nouns are capitalized. If you aren’t sure, then Google it. At worst, errors in your resume will result in an immediate rejection. At best, it will be a distraction to all of the wonderful work experience that you bring to the table.
- Huge blocks of text – Try to incorporate some bullets to break up long paragraphs. That is an easy way to increase the readability of your resume. Another way is to review through the paragraph and see if there is any filler language that you could remove and still communicate the same message. We live in an era of instant gratification. The paragraph format could cause a reader to put down your resume.
- Presenting a rigid and robotic employment history – Let your resume tell the story of your career. A simple way to format that story is to provide a short section at the start to explain any history or context to your journey with the company. Let’s say you worked at a hospital. I’m sure it would be helpful to write how many beds were in the hospital? Why did you take the job at the company? How many times did you get promoted? How many employees were at the hospital? Was it a nonprofit hospital? Framing your experience is crucial to telling a detailed employment story.
- Empty space – Blank space on a resume non-verbally tells your prospective employer that you don’t have enough experience to fill a page. Avoid space fillers such as overly large font or making your contact information cover a quarter of the page. Do the research to find the most fascinating and detailed accomplishments of your career to date. This can take some time and brainstorming, but will result in a resume rich with content.
- Saying something without actually saying anything – Hiring professionals are fluent in fluff language and it is a huge turnoff to read. Avoid overly formal language and empty buzzwords. Every part of your resume should have a purpose.
- Not customizing your resume for each position– Referencing the wrong job title, awkwardly vague statements in the cover letter, or outdated objective statements are huge indicators to a potential employer that you did not individualize your application materials to their open position. There are some really great ways to draft a resume that allows you to easily customize it to each prospective employer. Reviewing through a job description’s requirements and required qualifications will allow you to focus on content that will be most interesting to the hiring manager.
It always helps to consult with a resume professional. All my clients receive a personalized written consultation with edits, examples, and suggestions on how to make your resume stand out. Click here to order your $150 critique today!