The single purpose of your resume is to get you an interview. Managers admit when screening resumes they spend about 2.5 to 20 seconds per resume. This is an extremely short amount of time to catch the eye of a future employer.
Glaring mistakes will immediately earn your resume a one-way trip to the recycle bin. Avoid these mistakes and your resume may just get you an interview with a prospective employer.
No Contact Information
Believe it or not, neglecting to include contact information is a common mistake on resumes. No matter how amazing your resume is, or how perfect you are for the job, your resume will end up in the trash if there is not way to contact you.
Slightly better, but still a certain kiss-of-death would be including an inappropriate e-mail address as part of your contact information. If your e-mail address is kinkysex@hotmama or iamdrunk@fratboy, consider signing up for a free e-mail address with one of the many ISP’s that offer this service.
Grammatical and Spelling Errors
In a national poll that included responses from 150 senior executives 34% said the most common mistake they see on resumes is spelling or grammatical errors. Spell check will only catch so many errors, but you should at the very least run spell check on your resume before printing it.
It is easy to miss spelling and grammar errors on your resume after you’ve spent hours working on it and looking at it, so it’s a good idea to have a few different people read your resume to check for spelling and grammar errors. This extra effort will keep your resume from representing you in a poor light.
Too Much Information
Don’t list your hobbies and interests on a resume. Potential employers only want to know what you can do for them. Your resume should be written with this in mind. If it doesn’t have anything to do with the job, leave it out.
It should go without saying that you should never include your social security number or date of birth on a resume.
Keep your list of achievements succinct and relative to the job you are applying for. Managers who scan resumes won’t spend time wading through thick paragraphs filled with useless information and your resume could quickly end up in the “do not call” pile.
Not Enough Information
Just as some people fall into the trap of including too much information on their resume, some simply do not include enough. One of the biggest problems is when candidates list “duties” instead of “achievements” on their resume.
Consider your audience and the job you are applying for when you write your resume. Whether you write a functional or a chronological resume, telling what you accomplished will show how you can be an asset to a prospective company.
Instead of writing, “Responsibilities included answering the phone and greeting clients” try, “Voted employee with best customer service skills by my peers 2 years in a row”.
If your resume has a poor layout, it could land directly in the trash. If you consider you that some resumes are scanned in less than 3 seconds, it’s clear that managers are tossing resumes that are not pleasing to the eye or that appear to be easy to read.
Cramming too much information typed out in a font smaller than 10 points will turn off most screeners as will an empty resume with too much white space. Another layout trap that could cause someone to pass over your resume is using a popular template, such as those included with Microsoft Word. While these templates are well done, they are over used and will cause your resume to blend in with all the rest. Your goal should be to create a resume that grabs attention and keeps the reader interested.
Try to catch the readers attention in the top half of the page by starting with your name and contact information and including a clear, succinct objective. This will peak their interest and get them to look at the rest of your resume.
Avoid these resume mistakes and your resume may just get you into an interview!