The quickest way to be eliminated as a job candidate is to submit a flawed resume. Whether yours is initially reviewed by a hiring manager or an applicant tracking system, you need to ensure your resume immediately conveys the value you would offer if hired. And this leaves no room for error, if you want to emerge as the leading contender for your dream position.
Here are five resume mistakes that will take you out of the running for a job – and how to avoid them.
Typos, Spelling or Grammar Errors
Thoroughly spell check and proofread your resume. If you’re not 100 percent comfortable with its accuracy, do it again. Have a trusted friend or colleague review it, as well. Reading it out loud is another option. Or, print it out, change the font and then copy it into a blank email. Whatever it takes, get it right before you send it out in response to even a single ad or post.
Not Enough Relevant Keywords
Keywords are words that related to the specific requirements of a job. They are the skills, abilities and qualities employers require – and if they’re not immediately spotted in your resume, it will be automatically rejected.
Too Much Information
Limit your resume to one to two pages, unless you’re applying for a high-level academic or research position – in which case, you might want to create a CV instead.
- Focus on the highlights. You don’t need to supply every detail of every job you’ve held. For workforce veterans, a good rule of thumb is to limit your resume to the last 10 to 15 years.
- Use formatting techniques like bullets and short paragraphs to enhance readability. Used well, white space can also be very effective. Make your resume reader-friendly from start to finish.
A Mismatch Between Your Resume and the Job
The contents of your resume should support your career summary – and your summary should clearly match the specific requirements of the job.
- Your summary statement should give a hiring manager, at just a glance, an accurate synopsis of your qualifications. Include concrete information detailing how you’ve added value to previous employers.
Accomplishments That Are Not Quantified
Quantify all the achievements listed on your resume with numbers and other concrete evidence to support your statements. Itemize how your role was connected to bottom-line improvements in each of your experiences.
- Use action verbs. Tell a compelling story by using words like “increased, decreased, upgraded, reorganized, eliminated, accelerated, established” and “surpassed.” For instance, make statements such as “Decreased departmental travel expenses by 25 percent” or “reduced staff turnover by 20 percent.”
At PrideStaff Modesto, our passion is helping people grow their professional opportunities and find great jobs. In addition to a vast client network, we offer unparalleled expertise in resume writing and mastering every step of your job search strategy. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.