There are lots of resume templates and procedures that people stick to because it is convenient and does not require them to put a lot of thought into it. Applying for jobs is a hassle and many people simply just do the least amount of work possible. But not all resume template designs are created equal and a lot has changed with how your resume should look like these days. If you do not follow recent trends, you might be giving yourself a major disadvantage when applying for work. Below is a list of common resume mistakes you should avoid.
- Skip the Objective: You applied for the job, that tells it all. Unless you send a generic resume to a company not knowing what jobs they have open, you will not want to use an objective on your resume.
- Irrelevant Job Experiences from many years ago: If you are working in accounting for the last 20 years for 3 or 4 different companies or career levels, there is no need to list that part-time job you had as a teenager selling pizza. However, if you were an office manager or admin assistant or something else in an office I would continue to include it. You can also list less relevant jobs if they help to fill a gap on your resume. If you have 10 jobs in as many years, think about how and what you want to show on your resume.
- Personal Information: Do not include anything really personal in your resume. Age, marital status, gender, religion – all these do not belong on your resume. These are also questions an interviewer is not allowed to ask.
- Too much Text: Yes, you could almost write a book about all the work you did at XYZ company, but don’t the reader drown in text. Be specific and detailed. Pick the highlights and if necessary break things up a little bit. Keep the font at an easy to read size. If the reader needs a magnifier to read everything on your resume, you lost out. Fail!
- References: If your future employer wants to speak to your references, they’ll ask you. Or you might have to submit the information as part of an electronic application system at the same time you submit your resume. So, do not include them on your resume.
- Your Email Address: A silly looking email address might have been fun to use during high school or college, but pick something conservative for your resume and related communication. And do not use your email address from your current job.
- Personal Pronouns: Your résumé should not include the words “I,” “me,” “she,” or “my,”. Don’t write your résumé in the third or first person. Your resume is about you and your experiences.
- Annoying Buzzwords: Certain buzzwords can be a major turnoff for employers. Skip words like “best of breed,” “go-getter,” “think outside the box,” “synergy,” and “people pleaser”. Instead use terms like “achieved,” “managed,” “resolved,” and “launched”.
- Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments: Don’t let this happen to – It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume and that will not do you any good. Remember you want to sell yourself and show yourself in the best light possible.
Other countries have different requirements for how resumes are supposed to look like. Some of these things might make it here into the US or vice versa, but until the experts say it is Ok to do a certain thing with your resume, I would simply stick to the known basics. If you are unsure about the resume template and style you are using, I highly recommend to look into a resume writing service. An experienced resume writer knows what works and what doesn’t. They often even know which resume style works better in what industry. While using a resume writing service is not free, the little money you will spend on it will usually be worth it.