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Top 10 Resume Mistakes That Will Short Circuit Your Job Search
Does your resume contain mistakes that are preventing you from being considered for that “ideal” job? There’s a good chance it is, even if you had it prepared by a resume professional. With an average of six job seekers for every job opening in the US, recruiters and hiring managers receive thousands of resumes for every listing. With that in mind you have about five seconds to convince them to read further and they will spend no more than 15 seconds before deciding to interview or not. Most recruiters will tell you that when they scan resumes they are initially looking for easy reasons to eliminate candidates in order to “reduce the pile” of email trash. Here are some common blunders that offered by veteran recruiters.
1. Unprofessional contact information
If you’re using an email address that sounds something like “Billy&JohnnysDad@” you’re giving recruiters and hiring managers a quick reason to say no. A similar blunder is using an email address that appears like some kind of code “pbi439_jht@”. If you’re resume makes it to the interview pile you may never know it because an assistant accidentally miss-typed your email. Give your job search a boost and create a new email address that is simple and professional. Your first and last name is the best way to go and if that’s not available through your preferred provider just add a middle initial or a simple number to the end. While you’re reviewing your contact information take a few minutes to consider the phone number you’re providing. Make sure you’re voicemail sounds clear and professional. Don’t use a phone number that is shared, use a cell phone or have a dedicated line added through your provider.
2. Including a “me-focused” objective
Employers don’t care what you want; they care about solving a problem. They want to hire a person who will solve their problem and are not particularly concerned about where they fit into your career goals. While that may be a question during an interview, on the resume you need to focus on how you can help the company. What you should include is a headline or branding statement that speaks directly to what the employer needs. This should be refined and customized for each offering.
3. Highlighting job duties, instead of accomplishments
Resumes should primarily have high-impact statements about your accomplishments that relate directly to the job description. This allows you to sell yourself as the best candidate. Avoid phrases like “responsibilities included” or “duties included” and focus on measurable accomplishments that set you apart from other job candidates.
4. Using hard to read fonts and formatting
Before your resume reaches human eyes, it will likely pass through an applicant tracking software system that will determine whether your resume should be moved forward. Fancy fonts and formatting are unreadable to the software and will be rejected immediately. In addition, since recruiters and hiring managers will generally review the resume electronically first, online readability is essential. Use simple, clear fonts and avoid fancy lines and graphics.
5. Listing references on your resume
Your references are a vital resource and you don’t want to disrespect their willingness to help you by spamming their contact information to every company that you apply to. Instead, list them on a separate sheet that you provide only when requested as part of the interview process. In addition, there is no need to include the line “references available on request” on your resume. It is assumed and just wastes space.
6. Including salary expectations
Never include salary related points in the resume. It will distract the reader’s attention and you may lose the chance to interview. It’s better to keep it out of your resume completely. If this information is requested in a job application it is better to include the information in the cover letter. It is also better to use a wide range for salary rather than a specific number.
7. Failing to include reason for leaving
If you have gaps in your resume or if you have made job changes that may seem questionable on paper, answer the questions on your resume. A hiring manager will ask and answer the question for you if the information is not provided which is not in your best interest.
8. Poorly organized
While writing your resume, you should maintain a proper order of importance. Make sure it is organized in a way that is easy to follow. Job titles are more important than dates of employment. It’s better to put the educational details at the end. If you are a recent graduate, then only you should highlight it. More significance should be given to the information that meets the need of the employers.
9. Typos and Grammatical Errors
It may sound insignificant, but a small spelling mistake or grammatical error can cost you the job you are applying for. Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect otherwise it will create an impression of a careless person in the minds of the employers.
10. Unrelated information
Mention such facts that lend credibility to you as a job applicant. You should avoid stating information in your resume that has nothing to do with the job you are applying for. Very often job seekers make this mistake while telling about their hobbies or accomplishments. If you are applying for a software developer position, what sense it would make if you state that you were an arm wrestling champion as one of your accomplishments?
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