Your resume is the first thing any potential employer sees, unless you’ve got some kind of inside connection and are able to skip this step. For the vast majority of us, however, our resume is the equivalent of our first impression. This is especially true now, as most job hunting is done online, and resumes are looked at far before any other part of a candidate is seen or considered. Having a great resume means really putting your best foot forward when you’re on the job hunt, and with things the way they are now, you need every arrow you can possibly put in your quiver. We’ll talk about some of the most common mistakes that everybody makes when putting a resume together. That way you’ll be able to avoid most of the pitfalls of your competition’s resumes and introduce yourself with a killer first impression like you know you were meant to all along.
1. Being too Long. If you were under the impression that employers like reading resumes, you might be mistaken. And if you were under the impression that you’re the only person applying for the job, you are likely to be very mistaken. In most cases, employers have a ton of resumes to go through, so yours should get the job done quick. Keep your resume to one page, unless you’ve got enough experience to FILL two. No page of your resume should only be partially-filled; this doesn’t look good at all. Your resume should be succinct, so your potential employer really gets the feeling that time is a valuable commodity to you.
2. A Lack of Confidence. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to be apparent about it as you do so. Your resume should make it clear that not choosing you for the job would be a foolish mistake. Make yourself sound like the Indiana Jones of whatever it is you do, and portray yourself as a confident, executional genius. The way you communicate about yourself says a lot about what you really think about your abilities, and a smart employer knows this.
3. Irrelevant Experience. If you worked at a grocery store when you were sixteen and you’re applying for a graphic design position now, you can leave off that older experience because it’s completely irrelevant. Even if it’s recent, work that doesn’t apply to your potential position can be left off the resume. No need to waste anyone’s time, right?
4. Too Boring. Be adventurous, and don’t be afraid to invite your reader to crack a smile. Be moderate about this, as there’s a time and a place for everything. But your design and content should be fun, sharp, and clever. It should also be these things in a way that’s suited to your chosen profession. Obviously, a resume for a film production studio will look different than one for a financial firm. Both are a good opportunity to show that you’re a fun person to work with, though.
5. Lame Linguistics. This being said, don’t let the language in your resume get boring. Keep things fresh, and exciting. Bust out that thesaurus or have the best resume service take a look at what you’ve written. There is always a way to spice up your copy, and doing so can mean the difference between an entertaining break or the same old resume.