The Mistakes You’re Making on Your Resume and How to Fix Them
Your resume is more often than not, the first thing an employer is going to see. It’s important to keep your resume polished and up to date, so that it will stand out. It might seem like it’s no big deal, but simple mistakes like being too wordy, or not including information relevant to the job you are applying for, can cause your resume to be tossed into the “no” pile. Let’s go over some of the most common mistakes people make on their resumes, and how to fix them.
In most cases you want your resume to be no longer than one page. Even, if you are creating a curriculum vita, or CV, you generally don’t want to go beyond 2-3 pages. Employers are short on time. If they see you going on and on about things that have nothing to do with the job you are applying for, they are going to lose interest quickly. Think economically. Say with
5 five words what you were going to say with 10. This will not only save you space on your page, but also give your resume a clean and professional look.
Another way to avoid being wordy is only to
only include information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are a construction site manager, keeping your high school pretzel stand job front and center on your resume isn’t going to help. However, if you led a team of foreign exchange students to first place in a pinewood derby contest, you might want to include that. It lets the employer know you are not only able to lead and manage a group of people, but that you also have very effective communication skills, and that would be relevant information.
This is another common mistake people make on their resumes: they think by being vague, they are actually giving a lot of information, or that they are successfully avoiding specifics they would rather not get into. That is not the case. All you are doing is confusing and possibly boring the person reading your resume. Simply saying, management experience, in your resume is not enough. What did you do? How many people did you manage? What were some of the responsibilities? In essence, you have to prove it.
If you have specific things you would rather not delve into, don’t include them on the resume, even if you give a vague overview. The lack of clear answers will only lead the potential employer to ask you further questions about your vague statement, if you get far enough to have an interview in the first place. Be specific, give examples, and if you don’t have anything too specific to talk about, it probably isn’t worth including on your resume anyways.
So you didn’t notice that you spelled experience, as epxereince, until you are in the middle of the interview. Good going. If you took the time to
actually look over proofread your resume , after you had finished it, you might have caught that could have caught the error.
In fact, proofreading your resume multiple times will greatly improve the quality of your resume. Not only will you catch simple grammar and spelling errors, but you might think of things to add, or areas to improve while you are looking it over. It is a good idea to have a neutral party look over your resume as well. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in our own heads, especially after going over your resume for the umpteenth time. Having someone else take a look will give you a fresh perspective on your resume. There are even professional services that will look over your resume, give sound advice, and provide templates. If you are taking your job search seriously, proofreading your resume multiple times is a must.
Tailoring Your Resume
Different jobs have different requirements. You might want to keep a few different versions of your resume handy, depending on the jobs you are applying for. I myself keep
3 three different versions of my resume: one for writing, one for front-of house-restaurant work, and one for back-of-house restaurant work (I moonlight as a cook and server from time to time). Bringing my writing CV to an interview at Applebee’s would be downright stupid. However, I can easily take my restaurant focused resumes, and fine-tune them for any restaurant I apply to. Not only that, but I can also adjust my resumes from their templates. For example, if I am applying to be a writer for a newspaper, I would take my writing CV and rework it a bit to emphasize my time spent in college working on the school newspaper, whereas. On the other hand, if I was were applying to be an editor of a literary arts magazine, I would emphasize anything to do with creative writing and my career. Having a few resume templates on hand, will let you quickly and effectively prepare for any job.
Don’t make it harder on yourself by having a lackluster resume. Keep it simple, straightforward, and to the point. Make life easier by using one of these resume samples. Give it a few look-overs once you are done, and you should be well on your way to your next job.