Mistakes on a resume can doom your job search before an HR manager even gets to delve into your skills, qualifications or work history. That's why it becomes imperative that you avoid making resume mistakes. Use these tips to help you avoid common pitfalls of resume writing.
Proofread your resume as thoroughly as possible. Grammatical errors and typos may cause someone in HR to pause as she looks over your document. If you misspell a keyword from the job description, an applicant tracking system may not count the word — and then your ranking could lower.
Have a friend or colleague read over your document and ask him what he thinks of it. Does the resume make sense to your friend? Does your colleague find himself skimming through the resume? Does your friend have any questions about any aspect of the document? Honest feedback can lead you to improve your resume.
2. Double-Check Your Facts
Fact check your resume against your actual information. Did you remember your correct college graduation year? Are your previous hire dates in line with what past employers have on file for you? Human resources double-checks pertinent facts on your resume, especially when the department verifies previous employment. Any embellishment or exaggeration may lead to further questions with your former employer, and that may damage your honesty and integrity even before you have an interview.
3. Move Important Items to the Top
Put your most important attributes towards the top of your resume. A recruiter starts reading from the top and goes down. Don't bury your most important accomplishments. Instead, create a Career Summary section at the top that identifies what your potential employer needs to know most about your qualifications.
4. Tailor Your Resume
Another important aspect to look for involves tailoring your resume to the employer where you're sending your resume. Place keywords relevant to the job description within your resume. Examine the posting, and mimic the verbiage of the job description, qualifications, job title and hard skills. Use the same words for computer programs, certifications, degrees and industry jargon. Your resume literally needs to be on the same page as the job description posted by human resources.
5. Relevance Versus Length
Your resume should remain about one page long in most cases. You may not have room to list all of your work experience and past employers on your vital document. Instead of trying to make a comprehensive list of your previous work, list the most relevant positions. Leave out that one job you had for three months because you needed the money, and consider omitting the internship you had in college.
Instead, focus on jobs that show a progression through your chosen field. If your dream job is a vice president of sales, list your first sales position you had that led to managing a sales team. This tells the story of how you rose through the ranks of sales on your way to the potential VP job.
Avoiding resume mistakes is more than just grammar and formatting issues. Make your resume as polished as possible, because it serves as a first impression with recruiters and hiring managers.
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