Your resume is one of the first things an employer sees from you, and therefore you want to make it perfect. You have done your research and have seen the common mistakes and myths out there. You eliminated the objective from the top of your resume, used professional language instead of slang to promote your past successes, and triple checked for any spelling errors. While you may think that your resume is perfect because you nailed those basics and avoided errors that weaken your resume, there are other frequently overlooked items on a resume that could make or break your chances at landing an interview with the company of your dreams.
With one study showing many hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume, it is crucial that you have everything in place to make the best first impression possible. Here are some common errors job seekers still overlook on their resume that you should avoid:
- Not tailoring your resume to the job – A resume should not be a one size fits all. Just as you tailor a cover letter to specific companies, you should also tailor your resume to meet the company culture and strengths. Think of your resume as your way of speaking directly to the hiring manager and your future boss. When you align your talents with their expectations, you can create a stronger case for why they should invite you to a job interview. When you do this, you have a better chance to stand out in the pile of resumes the hiring manager receives each day.
- Getting a little too creative – True, creative resumes stand out from the traditional ones, but this is not always a good thing. If you want to get creative on your resume, it is best to consider the company culture and the position you are applying for and then showcase your talents in an eye-catching but still easy-to-read way. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position and want to show off your creativity, turn your resume into a brochure or flyer. This will demonstrate your skills that are specific to the position you are applying for in a creative way without being too over the top.
- Not knowing how far back to go with your accomplishments – Highlighting that you were president of a student association may be appropriate if you are applying for a job as a recent college graduate, but not appropriate if you want a job after many years of experience. Instead, focus on putting in accomplishments that will matter to the hiring manager or recruiter. While you may have fond memories of your time at the student association, this will mean nothing to a company looking to hire an experienced professional.
- Not respecting your future employer’s time – Hiring managers are tasked with finding the right person for a position. They do not have a passion for digging deeply into each candidate’s resume, nor do they have the time. Resumes are often dry to read, but they do serve a purpose. It is to highlight the qualifications that you have for the position, making it obvious that you are the right person to fill the job. When you understand this purpose, it is easier to craft a resume that is straightforward and to the point with the information you want to convey. When you think about the process from the perspective of the person sifting through hundreds of resumes, you will put the time into honing your message on the resume so that it is concise and impactful.
- Not being truthful – Even on paper a lie can be obvious to a hiring manager. There is no need to go over the top to prove your worth to the company. Instead, be honest in what you put on paper and back it up with real examples in your cover letter and in the job interview. This will have a far bigger impact on the person hiring you and will help you to stand out from the crowd.
No matter how many times you look at your resume, you are likely to overlook one or two flaws. It is a good idea to ask more than one person to review your resume for you and get their feedback on what you have on paper before you turn it over to the hands of the person you want to meet.
About the Author:
Patrick Del Rosario is a Filipino business and career ninja. He works at http://blog.opencolleges.edu.au, one of the pioneers of online education in Australia and one of the leading providers of human resources courses. Aside from blogging and being a business ninja, Patrick is an aspiring photographer. If you want to feature his writings on your site, connect with him at https://plus.google.com/#105482152957951012014/posts?rel=author or drop him a line at Patrick@oc.edu.au.