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Ten Resume Mistakes

key to success

  1. Typos, past tense for a present job, personal pronouns: It’s really hard to edit your own work. Always have someone take a look at your final copy. The more eyes the better. That doesn’t mean they should make suggestions. Be sure to clarify what you’re asking them to do or you may end up rewriting the whole thing.

  2. Using an objective instead of a clear profile: Don’t make the reader work for it. Keep your message concise. Say WHAT you are, WHO you help, and HOW you make their life/work better.

  3. Using buzzwords and fluff: Your goal is to tell your work story as authentically and genuinely as possible in one page. Don’t pad it with unnecessary fillers.

  4. Using company specific jargon and abbreviations: Never assume the reader knows what you’re referring to. This goes along the lines of don’t make them work for it. State what it is and spell it out.

  5. Not using keywords that match the job description: Your goal is to be the best match with what the hiring person is looking for. The easiest way to do this is include the same language as the job description.

6. Not matching the resume to the job description: If you have a specific job you’re going after and better yet, a job description to work from, your resume should be geared toward it. Don’t submit a generic resume when you can fine tune and make it match.

7. Not enough white space/too much text: Your resume should be visibly appealing. Too much text is overwhelming and can turn off the reader. Allowing for white space on the page helps the reader focus and makes it easier to spot keywords.

8. Not listing skills or computer experience: Help the reader find the skills they’re looking for. If they’re listed and easy to spot, you’re one step closer to getting the interview.

9. Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments: Do better than the basic job description. Go from “all about you” to showing what they want to see. Show what you can offer them: how you will increase revenue, how you will help efficiency, how you will build a team.

10. Not using action words: Make your resume come alive! Actions words show accomplishments more easily than descriptions. They give a better glimpse of what you can offer to the hiring person than does a recount of what you did. You want to make it as easy as possible for the reader to get the best understanding of what you have to offer. Give them the visual they’re looking for.

Rule of thumb: one page for every ten years.

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