Your resume is one of the earliest lines of communication between yourself and the companies where you are seeking employment. This one brief document is responsible for making a lasting impression, so you should make it a masterpiece. Even if you have endless achievements and accolades, employers will not notice them if they are cloaked in layers of typos and poor word choices. If you want to make yourself stand out from other applicants, then use these tips to avoid some common resume mistakes.
Too Many Words
Unless you have at least 10 years of relevant experience, your resume should be a single page long. For this reason, every word you use is precious. If you choose those words poorly, then you are cheating yourself and likely alienating your recruiters as well.
Some jobseekers do not realize that it is unnecessary to use personal pronouns on resumes. Recruiters know that you are talking about yourself, so you do not have to lose space to the repeated use of the word “I.” Another common mistake is using a multi-word phrase when you could have conveyed the same idea using a single word. To avoid this error, use a thesaurus to bolster your vocabulary. Choosing your wording carefully will help you keep your resume brief and uncluttered.
Your resume needs to be custom-written for the job you are applying to. While you can keep a master list of all of your work experiences to make it easier to create multiple versions of your resume, you still have to choose the information you include carefully. Your job as a volunteer staffer at a music festival may have gotten you free tickets, but it is not likely to impress employers.
In addition to irrelevant work experience, there is also the danger of including irrelevant personal information. While employers need to know things like your name and contact information, they do not need to know your marital status, religion or political affiliations. Including this information not only puts you at risk for discrimination, but it also appears unprofessional even to employers who would not discriminate against you.
Spelling, Grammar and Formatting Errors
No one wants to make a sloppy first impression, but that is exactly what you will do if you do not proofread your resume. Recruiters will be quick to lower their estimations of you if they notice misspellings or unnecessary apostrophes. To avoid making one of these deadly resume mistakes, proofread your work multiple times during the writing process. Be especially watchful for homonyms and other subtle errors that computer programs do not always catch.
If you need extra help in this department, you may want to consider using a professional resume builder. This option allows you to populate your own resume with a number of grammatically correct phrases and accomplishments.
Incorrect or False Information
Part of proofreading is making sure that all of the information on your resume is accurate. While recruiters might never realize if you list an incorrect date, it could be bad news for your application if they do notice. More importantly, you should never include information that you know is not true. Even if it does catch the interest of recruiters, the truth is bound to come out once they begin questioning you on those points.