Common Resume Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Writing Your Resume

It’s time to write your resume.

If you are currently looking for a job, your resume can either be your golden ticket into the business world, or it can prevent you from even being considered by a potential employer. Your resume is the first meeting between you and a prospective employer, and it is one way that you will be remembered. Since companies do not have the time to interview every applicant that applies for the job, they use your resume as part of the elimination process. With that in mind, here are some common resume mistakes that people make, and how to fix them.

Mistake 10: Including multiple phone numbers.

Only include your primary phone number and make sure that you have an answering machine or voice mail connected to that number. Your voice mail greeting should be professional and courteous.

Mistake 9: Not including your email address.

Always include your email address, because it is the second most popular way that most employers and recruiters correspond.

Mistake 8: Adding personal information about yourself.

Leave off any and all personal information, even if you feel like it is relevant. You do not want the hiring manager to make certain assumptions about you based on unrelated information. Do you not include any information on your resume that would specifically lead a person to discern your race or religious background.

Mistake 7: Making your resume too short or too long.

Many people try to squeeze all of their experiences onto one page; however, by doing so, job seekers may be deleting impressive and relevant achievements. There is no rule about appropriate resume length, but it really shouldn’t be longer than two pages.

Mistake 6: Using personal pronouns and articles.

A resume is a form of business communication, so it should be written in a telegraphic style. There should not be any mentions of “I” or “me.”

Mistake 5: Using elaborate fonts.

You should always use standard fonts to make your resume look as professional as possible. The easiest fonts to reads are ones such as Times New Roman and Courier. Elaborate or “fun” fonts may give the employer the impression that you are not serious about the position or the job itself.

Mistake 4: Being too focused on job responsibilities.

While it is important to list your job duties and responsibilities, your resume should not just be a long, boring list. It is important to demonstrate how you made a difference at each company by providing specific examples.

Mistake 3: Not including a Summary Section.

The career summary section makes the initial hard sell. After you do enough research about what skills and competencies are important to the position, you can include the skill level and experiences directly related to the position in the career summary section.

Mistake 2: Not including keywords.

More and more companies are using technology to read and store resumes, which is why it’s important to insert relevant keywords throughout your resume. Determine keywords by reading job descriptions that interest you, and include the words that appear frequently. With some bigger companies, if their software programs don’t pick up on any keywords in your resume, it may be sent to the “reject pile” without ever being looked at by a human.

Mistake 1: Having a resume that does not match your actual skills and experiences.

People are called in for interviews based on their resumes. If the potential employer realizes that the person during the interview does not match the resume, the company feels like they have been misled. Do not make up previous jobs or skills on your resume, because sooner or later it will come back to haunt you.


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