One of the best ways to start the resume writing process is to examine resume writing examples in books or online. It is important, though, when researching these resume writing examples that you are able to differentiate a good resume from a bad one. Employers are well aware of what constitutes a good resume and so should you. You need to be able to evaluate your own resume to ensure it is the best quality possible and there are several mistakes that are commonly made.
Below are the top ten mistakes that are commonly made on a resume:
- Exaggerating or lying about experience or qualifications will hurt, not help. It may be tempting to pad your resume to make you look better but this can backfire easily. If found out, you can be barred from applying to any position or if hired you may face termination for dishonesty. It is better to be honest and focus on your strengths than to make up skills or experience.
- Adding irrelevant information will only frustrate the employer. You want to highlight your strengths that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. You need to make this easy to find and not make the hiring manager have to search for pertinent skills.
- Writing in paragraphs is for your cover letter, not your resume. You want the hiring manager to scan your resume quickly and see your relevant skills. Using bullet points is a great way to bring attention to your qualifications and will enhance your chances of getting an interview.
- Inundating your prospective employer with information will not encourage an interview. The resume should summarize your relevant information. Expanding on this can wait until the interview process. Do not put more than ten years work experience in your resume and delete any information that will not pertain to the job.
- Listing responsibilities that are no longer desirable will only increase your odds of being responsible for them again. Everyone has aspects of their job they don’t like but highlighting them may give the impression that you are looking for that type of situation again. Focus on the goals and responsibilities of the job that you want.
- Using multiple pages will give the employer too much information to wade through. Keep your resume to one page if at all possible. However, do this by only using relevant information and keeping your resume succinct. If you need to resort to altering the font to make it small enough to fit, move on to a second page.
- Did you forget to proofread your resume? This is a careless, sloppy mistake that will immediately disqualify you from employment. Use a spelling and grammar check to ensure nothing is missed. Review your resume several times and have a third party also look at it. Fresh eyes may catch a mistake that was initially missed.
- Making a resume too busy will be distracting. Choose a format and font for your resume and be consistent throughout. Make sure it is clean and easy to read. Avoid italics or cursive fonts.
- Focusing on the negative is not a good idea. The resume should focus on the positive and highlight your strengths. It is best to avoid mentioning anything negative at all as this will dissuade a potential employer from pursuing employment.
- Using the same resume for every job is not beneficial. Although you will always have certain information that is consistent, research your prospective job opportunity and customize your resume to emphasize the strengths that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying.