Your resume is usually your first meeting with an employer. The document that gives these hiring managers an insight into candidates and helps them narrow down their search. Since we are here to make sure you stand out as a candidate, we also have to make sure your resume is as impeccable as can be. This means there are a few red flags that could ruin your chances of making your resume stand out. Here are a couple of things to avoid to ensure you’re at the top of your game, resume-wise.
- Personal Information
Details like your marital status, religion or sex should not be included in your resume. Neither should your age, as happy as we are that you have stayed alive for *so-so* number of years, your contact information is all the personal detail relevant for your resume.
After you make it past the first hiring stage, you may then be asked for more personal information.
- Irrelevant work experience
Yes, there is such a thing as an irrelevant work experience. Being a Jack/Jill of all trades is a good thing sometimes, on your resume however, you may want to dial it down a bit. Employers want to know how you can be a useful asset to their organization. For example, your work as a restaurant manager may not be relevant when you are applying to an IT position.
We understand that you may want to compensate for a lack of experience by throwing in everything you’ve done over the years. You however want to make sure you are showing off experiences that will make you the best person for the job you’re applying to and not just those that may make you seem like someone with a short attention span.
- Duties in place of accomplishments
An easy mistake to make is to focus on your duties when talking about your experience instead of highlighting your achievements on the job. Remember that this employer wants to know just how you plan to add value to their organization.
Listing off things like “Served as customer support” will not be as attractive as going into specific details of what you accomplished and how you were a contribution to the organization. For example, that earlier sentence could include how you assisted over 100 customers with specific problems (give one or two examples of said problems). Your job here is to sell yourself and your awesomeness so go ahead and do that please.
- Long Paragraphs
Your resume should be concise. Short and to-the-point, this means you have no use for overly long paragraphs or sentences. Whenever you find that you may have a lot to say about an experience, make use of bullet points, trim and highlight only the relevant information.
Anyone reading your resume (especially a hiring manager) is bound to lose interest if your sentences look too long or complex and this means they might miss crucial and noteworthy information you were trying to pass along.
Since we do not want that happening, you should try to keep the content of your resume short and relevant. Less. Is. More.
This should go without saying but we are going to say it anyway. You should proof-read your resume as many times as possible, also get more experienced eyes to go over it for you. Your resume is a representation of who you are therefore there is no room for grammatical errors that make it look like you are not detail-oriented, not a good way to say “Hi, hire me”.
Avoiding these few things means you’re one step closer to getting yourself an interview where you get to wow whoever is in charge of hiring you. Good luck!