The way you write your professional resume can make the difference between getting a job right away and staying unemployed for several months. Unfortunately, several resume mistakes are so pervasive that you might be making one of them without even knowing it. Take steps to avoid these resume mistakes at all costs.
In most cases, you should not include a photograph with your professional resume. Photos take up valuable space that could be better used for outlining your qualifications. Including a photo can also cause some hiring managers to inadvertently discriminate against you because of your appearance.
2. Employment Gaps
Hiring managers are looking for employees with steady work histories. For some, too many employment gaps on a resume indicate potential trouble with a candidate, especially if the gaps are long. If you are ever unemployed for several months, try to fill in the gap on your professional resume by noting how you spent your time. If you obtained a professional certification while you were out of work, for example, it shows hiring managers you used your time wisely.
3. Professional References
Your references do not belong on your professional resume. Most employers don't call references until they are ready to make a job offer, so submitting them on your resume is unnecessary. Remove your list of references, and use the space for something else, such as a list of professional achievements.
4. Links to Social Media
Your professional resume should focus on your qualifications and work history. Including links to social media profiles crosses the boundary between professional information and personal information. If your social media accounts contain anything inappropriate, you might also be giving hiring managers reasons not to hire you.
5. Too Much Text
A professional resume should be as concise as possible. A one- or two-page resume is fine for most industries, with the notable exception of academia. If you are not sure how long your professional resume should be, consult with someone who has more experience in your industry.
Do not embellish anything on your resume or write anything that is not true. The hiring manager may not find out right away, but lies can come back to haunt you later. Your resume should be an accurate representation of your education, work history and professional qualifications.
7. Not Enough Text
You don't need to ramble at length about your qualifications, but your professional resume should have enough text to make hiring managers feel comfortable about interviewing you.
8. Irrelevant Adjectives
When you submit a professional resume, you need to sell yourself on your own merits. Irrelevant adjectives, such as "creative," "friendly," "hard-working" and "intelligent," do not give the hiring manager insight into whether you make a good employee. Remove these words, and replace them with a list of quantifiable achievements.
The format and length of your professional resume are ultimately up to you, but it's important to be aware of professional norms. Submitting a resume that is filled with irrelevant text is not a good way to convince hiring managers you are the perfect applicant.
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