Your professional resume has a huge impact on the direction of your career. This document represents a potential employer’s single first impression. It is necessary to make sure it’s a good one. Making a faux pas creates a negative impression in the minds of hiring professionals and can severely impact your chance of getting the job you want.
Therefore, to ensure your resume stands outs, avoid:
1. Highlighting Your Responsibilities.
A future employer wants to get a sense of how you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants. Rather than merely listing your duties, detail what you accomplished in each job, or what I call STAR stories.
Think about how you specifically helped the company grow, or save money, or become more efficient. It’s your actions and results that entice a potential employer; not a laundry list of job duties.
Highlighting your accomplishments shows you’re someone who takes their job seriously by adding value and will increase your chance of getting an interview.
2. Grammatical and Spelling Errors.
This may seem like a no-brainer; however, it’s vital to ensure that your resume is free of grammatical and spelling errors. While it’s tempting to think that minor errors are not going to be noticed, or that they are not a big deal, they are.
Grammatical and spelling errors give the impression that you don’t pay attention to detail or that you don’t care, neither of which are appealing attributes for a future employer.
Grammatical and spelling errors are a relatively easy fix. Set your word processing spell check to the right language. Job hunting in Canada? Make sure you set your software to Canadian English. Read your resume out loud so you can hear how it sounds. Read it backwards which forces you to read each word versus skimming the document. Additionally, having someone else review your resume to catch any errors you may have missed always helps guarantee the document is top notch.
3. A Generic Resume.
Employers can sense authenticity. Therefore, when you send out the same resume to 100 different companies without personalizing it for the job you’re applying for, employers will see right through it.
A generic resume gives the impression that you’re desperate for a job without any true interest in the company you’re applying for. A generic resume could destroy your chances of making it to the next hiring round. Employers expect you to take the time to review the job posting and match your resume to their requirements.
4. Omitting Employment and Education.
Gaps in employment or the lack of dates gives the impression that you’re trying to hide something, which does not sit well with hiring professionals.
Be sure to include all your employment history and the dates of the degrees you’ve earned to ensure future employers do not feel as though you’re trying to deceive them in some way.
5. A Resume that Is Visually Unappealing.
Avoid underlining, headers and footers, using more than two fonts, or adding pictures on your resume.
A resume that is simple and easy to follow will not only give the impression that you’re professional and organized, but it will also increase your chances of landing an interview.