A Short Guide to Common Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid
WRITE AS FAST AS YOU CAN
For a really bad resume, write your resume in a hurry. You will be sure to miss spelling errors, make mistakes related to your background and experience risking the impression of giving false or misleading information, omit skills and accomplishments, and show a lack of creativity. If you really want to show your lack of interest in a job, write a resume in a hurry with little or no thought or preparation.
Just write as fast as you can!
UNUSUAL CONTACT INFORMATION
To convey a poor image and impression to a prospective employer, use a nickname for your resume heading. An added touch in poor taste might be a colorful e-mail address describing a personal habit or state of mind.
Write your resume in the first person and use ‘I’ with impunity. Focus on what is important to you, never mind the needs of the employer. Use your resume as a forum to outline your needs and expectations.
Create a resume that is flamboyant in the use of color, or insert personal logos. Or, present a resume in uniform style just like all the other applicants. ‘Follow the pack’ in your presentation and do not show imagination or creativity. Be afraid to be professional, yet different or unique. And be sure to use a lot of abbreviations and commas.
TOO MUCH INFORMATION
A really bad resume gives the appearance of being ‘crammed’, written in a very small font making it difficult to read, and with more content information that the employer really wants to know. The resume is not focused leaving little or nothing to the imagination and answers any and all possible questions an employer could ask.
An employer might ask, ‘This is more information than I really want to know. Why do I need to interview this applicant?’
MS. OR MR. COUCH POTATO
Where are your Accomplishments? What are your Skills? A bad resume presents little or no initiative, or the ability to make a difference, or the willingness to step or think ‘out of the box’.
OOOPS! NO EXPERIENCE
A bad resume will have the job description of the job you are applying to copied into the body of the resume. A poor resume will read like a job description with little emphasis on Skills and Accomplishments. Use the term ‘Work Experience’.
POINTS FOR A RESUME THAT WORKS.
Enough levity. Let’s get serious.
CLARITY AND FOCUS
Resumes convey a message with implications for your future and any prospective employer. Be clear, concise, and communicate clearly your accomplishments, skills and what you bring to your next job. Focus on the needs of your audience. Resumes are not a medium to express your needs or expectations. Resumes are all about your future employer and his or her expectations and what you bring to the table.
WRITING A RESUME TAKES TIME
No worthwhile task is completed in a hurry. As an investment in your future, crafting a resume takes time, patience and thought. Rome was not built in a day and neither will a good resume. Writing a resume might take several days and might often take weeks. ‘Let’s get this done!’ may not always result in a good resume.
Why? To give you time to remember what you have done, reflect on your experiences and focus on where it is you want to go.
INSPIRE YOUR AUDIENCE
First impressions are important, and your resume is your introduction to a Recruiter or hiring manager. Be professional, but be individual. Your resume should be easy to read; easy for the reader to find what it is he/she needs to know about you and how your Skills and Accomplishments relate to the job to which you are applying. Use spacing, bold lettering, and bullet points to highlight your skills and accomplishments. The reader’s eye will follow where you lead with the use of spacing, bolding and bullets. Avoid italics as this style may be difficult to read and de-emphasizes vs. an emphasis.
HIGHLIGHT ACCOMPLISHMENTS, SKILLS, AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Do not be bashful. Competition for jobs is intense. Convey with conviction and enthusiasm what you have done, how you have made a difference in the work lives of others, of what you are most proud, what have been your most significant contributions, and which of your ideas have been adopted into your work process.
List your awards no matter how small or insignificant you believe them to be. Awards and recognition matter and is a great way to showcase your talents and skills.
Be sure to label ‘Experience’ as ‘Professional Experience’ as it applied if are a CEO or a dishwasher.
Professionalism is a universal quality, a trait that will move you forward in whatever path life is making for you.