I’ve been working with a variety of job seekers since 2008—including over 2,000 clients that range from truck drivers, mid-level managers, production supervisors to college professors, lawyers, and educational professionals. No matter the profession, there are certain items that MUST be included in the resume and several things that MUST be avoided. Read further to discover the resume mistakes to avoid for today’s job market.
Mistake #1 – Listing an Objective. An objective focuses on what YOU want. And, frankly, the employer is strictly focused on what the company NEEDS. That means an objective is pointless and only takes up space that could be used for a career summary or personal summary.
Mistake #2 – Regurgitating your job descriptions. Did you know that there are a LOT of people with the same past job descriptions as you? Sorry to break the news, but there may be a great deal of people that have had past job experiences. What don’t they have? Your accomplishments and achievements. Focus on the numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts that you can weave into the big picture.
Mistake #3 – Including too much or too little information. It may be tempting to keep to your resume to one-page only or to only include your most recent position. However, a good rule-of-thumb is to include the last 10-15 years of experience (not every single job you have ever held!). Think relevance over quantity. And, at some point, putting jobs on your resume from 1985 will start to hurt you and can (potentially) cause age discrimination.
Mistake #4 – Being afraid to “brag.” Many people think that they may be bragging on their resumes if they truly list all that they have accomplished. I am here to tell you that others are doing so—why aren’t YOU? Think about it. If others are putting their best information and achievements out there, then why aren’t you doing the same thing? It’s NOT bragging if you are simply stating a fact.
Mistake #5 – Getting too fancy. While we all like things that look “pretty,” it’s important to remember that Applicant Tracking Systems and human resources professionals like simplicity and getting-to-the-point. Don’t mix and match fonts, along with design elements, and different colors. These things only subtract from the good elements that are inherent in your document.
Here’s the scoop: the more focused, simple, and informative your finished resume can be, the closer you will be to a job interview and your dream job. If you are unsure what information to include or exclude, then email me and I can provide you with a free resume review!