Applying to jobs is without a doubt one of the most stressful parts of the job search process. Whether you're coming straight out of college or deciding to move on to something new after years in the workforce, recruiters will spend an average of six seconds on your resume. This makes it all the more necessary to be clear and concise when presenting yourself in your resume. We’ve got five key things to remove from your resume ASAP.
1. Grammatical Mistakes
This might seem like a no-brainer but small mistakes such as misused capitalization, punctuation, and spelling can distract a recruiter from focusing on the experience but rather on the carelessness with which the resume was crafted. Take a couple of final once-overs at your resume before sending it out. One quick glance might not be enough and you could miss so many mistakes by just flying over the words. Make sure to read everything thoroughly, especially spelling company names and previous job titles correctly. Sending in a clean resume will allow the recruiter to focus on your experience and will immediately show good grammar and editing skills on your part.
2. Creating a Buzzword Minefield
While buzzwords can definitely interest recruiters, instead of just sprinkling buzzwords throughout your resume for effect, take a moment to show your skills instead. Explain past and current jobs in ways that demonstrate the skills that these buzzwords might represent, such as: team player, go-getter, organized, hard worker, detail-oriented, etc. Instead, use verbs to indicate action taken on your part, such as: managed, created, achieved, increased/decreased, and launched. By highlighting action, you draw attention to things you have done rather than words that might describe you in a broad sense.
3. Too Many Jobs In A Short Amount of Time
A cluttered job section on a resume is already difficult to avoid, but when that job section is a list of all the places you’ve hopped to and from over the past couple of years, it is an immediate deterrent for recruiters. This suggests that you aren’t sure of where you want your career to go or that maybe you had issues at your previous jobs—perhaps there was a conflict with a coworker or you were unable to perform the role well enough in order to grow at the company. In addition, a long list of recent jobs is what professionals call the “death by bullets” where too many bullet points on a resume could be a direct correlation to fewer job interviews. Overall, limit the amount of “recent” jobs down to a couple since more will raise questions that the recruiter will no doubt ask you about, so be prepared to answer them.
4. Irrelevant Skills
Make sure to look at the job description and hone in on the skills listed as requirements. Then, highlight how you exude these skills throughout your resume. In regards to the other skills you might have, bypass including them in this resume because not only are they going to take away from space you need for other information, they will be irrelevant to the recruiter. Place the most important skills listed in the job description at the top of your resume, as recruiters typically scan the first one or two jobs before moving on to the next resume. You want to make sure to show how you are right for that particular role, rather than showing all the other things you can do.
5. Excess personal information
Here’s a quick list of things to not include in a resume: a photo of yourself, your personal address, an unprofessional email address, and listing more than one phone number. When it comes to the personal information, the more concise, the better. Include an email address that is clean (this can even just be your name, which is the best bet) and make sure it does not include too many numbers for no apparent reason. In regards to address, include the city you are based in, one phone number (preferably cell phone) and your website if possible. Overloading a resume with anything besides the essentials will take room away from the already limited job and skill sections.
Using the below "cheat sheet" as a guide, you can turn a bleary resume into a robust, purposeful, powerful document. Following this cheat sheet's tips will not only clarify what type of information to include in the various parts of your resume, but also tell why you need to include it and how.
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