Avoiding The Most Common Resume Problems

Resume WritingResumes

Avoiding The Most Common Resume Problems
A resume is your first opportunity to sell yourself to future employers. Use this opportunity to make a good impression. Unfortunately, many people make common and simple to fix mistakes that keep them from making that good impression. Here are some common errors to look for before you send your resume to an employer.

  • Avoid spelling errors, typos, and poor grammar. This is simple, yet it will make you look unprofessional and incompetent.
  • A common error in resume writing is changing from first to third person midway through your resume. Stay consistent throughout your resume writing.
  • Another common resume problem that you should avoid is creating a resume that reads like a job description. Keep the focus on your skills, accomplishments and how your accomplishments were achieved.
  • Avoid creating a resume that is too long. Put yourself in the position of the person reading your resume. Most future employers will be reading a multitude of resumes at one time. One way to avoid a too long resume is to avoid providing personal information that isn’t relevant to the job. If your resume is too long, they are sure to not go through the entire resume.
  • A common mistake in resumes that is often overlooked is making sure you  provide accurate information. Employers will not be impressed if you didn’t take the initiative to provide them with accurate information. Gather up accurate dates, names, phone numbers.
  • Avoid the common mistake of giving partial information because you don’t remember, recall, or haven’t updated your resume.
  • Lastly, an important and common error you should avoid in writing a resume is keeping it simple. Provide simple yet powerful information. Enough information, but not too much. And, as always, simple and accurate.

What A Resume Is NOT
So often, when researching how to put together a resume, the posts and articles are a lot of “a resume is this,” and “a resume should have this,” but often, there is no information about what is dangerous or unnecessary in a resume. That is what this post is for–to help you understand what a resume is not so you can create the best and most impressive resume.
A resume is not:

  • A letter: It is not a place to talk or chat about yourself and your accomplishments. You can do that a little bit in your cover letter, but mostly that type of communication will be for your interview.
  • A soapbox: Blatantly bragging or putting false commentary into your resume in order to make your skills sound better than they are isn’t advisable. While it’s good to sell yourself and your skills, sell them on skills you’ve actually done, not what you”think you can” do.
  • A comedy club: You don’t need to add humor or personality to your resume. Employers are not looking for that type of thing in a resume. They want simple facts with enough information for them to decide if they want you to come in for an interview. Add some personality to your social media profiles. Talk about your interests and likes in that type of forum, but a resume is not the best place for them.
  • A grocery list: While, yes, you will list your skills, work experiences, and accomplishments, there is more to it than that. You can’t simply list every job without a few details like dates of employment, job title, employer, and some job duties. You don’t need a lot of detail, but you need enough so your potential employers have an idea of what you have done.

These are things to watch out for. Your resume may seem like it doesn’t have your voice or personality, but that is OK. It doesn’t need all that fluff. Save that for your cover letter and, more importantly, your interview.