A proper resume is one of the most important things you need in your job search. Paired with a good cover letter, your resume should highlight previous job experience and accomplishments so employers can determine if you’re a potential fit for the company and role for which you are applying.
It's easy to inadvertently make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to recover from the damage those mistakes incur once an employer gets ahold of them. Let your resume stand out for the right reasons by avoiding these five common mishaps.
don’t stretch the truth.
We all know that “honesty is the best policy,” but when it comes to something as big as your career, it can be tempting to stretch the truth in an effort to land your dream job.
A deceitful or embellished resume can devastate your chances of getting hired or staying employed. Since every detail on a resume can (and will likely) be verified, padding your resume with exaggerations and false claims may land your resume in the trash.
don’t use a cookie cutter resume.
You wouldn’t wear the same outfit every day. So why would you use the same resume for every job application?
Tailoring your resume shows that you care about the job and are a serious candidate for the position. Use the same keywords and concepts that appear in the job description and emphasize your skills, experience and education that are most important to the particular role. The more your resume matches the specific job requirements, the greater chance you have of earning an interview.
don’t get too personal.
Personal information is important on a resume as long as it directly pertains to the job or provides information a hiring manager needs to contact you.
Private information is different from personal information and should not be included on your resume. This includes your age, race, sex, nationality, political preferences, spiritual beliefs, marital status, Social Security number, physical characteristics or handicaps. If you think private information might positively or negatively affect your status as a job candidate, wait until you are offered a job interview to discuss those issues.
don’t use an unprofessional email address.
A less than professional email address sends hiring managers the wrong message. If you want to be taken seriously when applying for jobs, you need to leave your vanity email from high school in the past.
Use a work-appropriate email address. If necessary, make a new one. It takes only minutes and email accounts are free to create. Avoid using shared email accounts or email addresses that are cutesy, offensive or sexually oriented. Instead, adopt an email address that incorporates the name you use professionally on your resume, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
don’t forget to proofread.
Documents with easily avoidable mistakes make it easy for hiring managers to weed out sloppy job seekers when it comes to sorting through applications. Proofread your resume very carefully to ensure that no errors exist, such as spelling, typographical and grammatical.
Spell checker is your friend, but it can’t detect all mistakes. Printing out your resume and reading it aloud will help you find errors that you would otherwise miss by skimming. You should also ask a friend to take a look at it.
Remember, your resume should increase your chance of getting a job, not hurt it. Avoid the above mistakes and use these additional tips to make your resume easy for your future employer to see why you are a great fit for the job.
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