While online sites like LinkedIn, SimplyHired.com, and Monster.com have become popular with job seekers of all sorts, the basic tool for finding and landing a new job is still the good-old-fashioned resume. Do it right, and your resume may help you attract the attention of a recruiter—or your next boss. Do it wrong, and your resume may instead quickly land in the reject pile.
According to Frank Dadah, a managing director at recruitment firm WinterWyman,“Your resume generally gets about 30 seconds of attention the first time it’s reviewed. Job seekers need to take full advantage of that half minute to ensure you move on in the hiring process.”
Avoid these seven fatal resume mistakes, and keep your career moving in the right direction.
1. Too long
Believe it or not, no job recruiter wants (nor has time) to read a 10-page mini-biography about your life. Increase the chances that your resume will get read by making it concise and no longer than it needs to be. One page is ideal, but definitely no more than two.
2. Confusing formatting
A resume is not the place to get all creative with crazy fonts and formatting. Says Frank Dadah, “I like to see resumes that are clean and neat with dates, company names, and job titles clearly noted with responsibilities and accomplishments shown underneath.”
You only have one chance to make a first impression, and nothing makes a bad impression faster than sending out a resume riddled with typos and mistakes. If editing isn’t your thing, then give your resume to a trusted colleague or friend to review before you send it out.
Recruiters are kind of like detectives–they can easily spot inconsistencies between the information (such as previous jobs) provided in your resume and on LinkedIn and other social media sites. Make sure that your job information is consistent throughout your resume and online sites.
5. Personal information
Your resume is not the place to list personal information like your date of birth, social security number, ethnicity, reasons for leaving your previous job, specific street addresses, or phone numbers of previous employers. Three words: Don’t do it.
6. Being untruthful
Says Dadah, “I’m always surprised when candidates lie on their resumes. The ease of reference and background checking through social media and other online resources makes getting away with exaggerated or false information nearly impossible.” Avoid the temptation to exaggerate or make false claims on your resume–it’s not worth it.
7. Superfluous things
While you may be very proud of your pet dog Muffy, or the fact that you like to take long walks on the beach at sunset, your next boss will be much more interested in the skills you bring to the job.
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