We all want to write the best resume possible. We want it to be the best in the pile and land us a job with our dream company.
However, we are human, and we are prone to mistakes, especially when we don’t have much experience in what we’re doing.
Sadly, most of us aren’t expert resume writers. It makes sense if you think about it.
We’re not looking to be the best resume writers around; we’re just looking to get a job, and it is easy to get so consumed with that objective that we forget to learn the necessary skills required to get that job.
Resume writing, as it turns out, is a skill, and we should take some time to learn it.
While I can’t give you all the skills in one article, I at least can point you to some of the common resume writing mistakes we all make so that you can avoid them in the future.
1. Rehashing resumes
Using the same resumes to apply to many different jobs is actually a very common thing.
It is all because there is a lot of time involved in writing a resume, and a lot of energy too, and people just aren’t that enthusiastic about repeating the process every time they want to send their resume to a company.
So they do the easier thing and just reuse the same resume for different job applications.
The problem is that no two job applications are entirely the same. Different job openings will have different requirements and may often even be in different industries.
Even when those jobs happen to be in the same industry, the cultures of the companies may differ greatly, requiring that you adjust your resume accordingly to fit the culture of the company.
2. Getting too personal
It used to be that employers would want you to provide your personal information when applying for a job, such as your religious beliefs or your marital status.
However, that is a now-defunct practice that is not only frowned upon but illegal.
Some people might still find themselves including this information in their resumes, though, and it might look a little bad on their resumes.
You should be careful about what kind of personal information you share on your resume. First, you absolutely don’t have to, and any company that forces you to is actually breaking the law.
Second, the information you provide might end up factoring in the company’s decision whether to hire you or not, even though it’s not relevant to that decision.
3. Writing too much
Few things are as exciting and absorbing as talking about ourselves, and so we can often find ourselves getting carried away and talking too much.
If you give too much information to your employer, you might end up distracting them, which is certainly not what you want to do. You want them to understand just how much value you can add to their company, and sometimes less is more in achieving that.
Besides, the recruiter will likely spend just a few seconds reviewing your resume, since they have to deal with many others. Get to the point and focus on your most relevant achievements.
4. Using an unprofessional email address
You absolutely cannot afford to use an unprofessional email address.
An email address should ideally be your full name and should use a well-known extension, like gmail.com.
If you have to, you can use initials in place of some of your names, but try to avoid nicknames, numbers, and profanity in your address.
5. You are giving the wrong socials
Which social media profiles are you sharing in your resume? You should take some time before you apply for a job to review your web presence.
A good place to start is to do a Google search of your name. What comes up first? Which social media profiles are most prominent?
First, make sure that only good things about you come up first: articles you’ve written, professional stuff you’ve done, and presumably social media posts that aren’t too edgy, as they will reflect poorly on you.
Go through your social media with a tooth comb to make sure your stuff is clean.
Alternatively, try to clean up your social media before you have to apply to a job, and focus on building your brand so it’s in a certain way. It is, after all, one of your greatest assets.
Furthermore, try to only add the social media profiles that are most relevant to the job.
A LinkedIn profile is probably always okay. An Instagram profile, probably not so much, especially if you’re applying for a ‘serious’ position.
6. Illegible typography
What font are you using for your resume? How large is it? How legible? What are the word, character, and line spacings like?
Is it the kind of typography that just makes someone want to stop reading and move on to something else? Such small things matter a lot.
The kind of font you use has a great impact on the readability of your resume. You don’t want fonts that are too small, or too large, or too fancy either.
Make them simple and easy on the eye.
7. Typographical errors
While I’m hoping that you read and re-read your resume, and hopefully give it to someone else to read and reread it, before you send it to the company you’re applying to, I’ll still remind you to do it.
A single grammatical or even spelling error can be the difference between you getting that job and losing out to someone else who was less qualified but had no typographical errors in their resume.
Make sure you proofread your resume before you ever send it out.
8. You are not clear
When you are talking about your achievements in your resume, you want to give exact quantities.
Don’t say you took a few weeks to work on something; say just how much time you spent.
Don’t say you helped a company you previously worked at to increase sales, give an exact percentage increase.
Use facts and figures to bring your achievements into perspective. They help to give a clear picture of just what you’re capable of.
The above tips should help you get started on writing better resumes so you can increase your chances of getting a job.
Remember, you are selling yourself through that resume, so don’t sell yourself short. Good luck!
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Susan Saurel is a full-time digital marketer with Custom Essay Papers. She lives in Houston, Texas, but she spends most of her spare time chasing her wanderlust around the world, meeting new people and learning new cultures. As a passionate marketer, Susan is eager to share her professional experience with her readers.