Think you know all there is to know about resume writing, and have yours ready to go? Take another look to see if you've made any of these careless mistakes. When you're anxious to apply for a job you think you're the perfect match for, basic things on the resume may be overlooked. In the rush of things, the following may happen:
1. You forget to update your contact information.
When it comes time to update the resume, the first thing most job seekers think about is adding details on the last job they held and any new skills gained, but they forget about basic details like contact information. Make sure your resume includes a phone number and email address you regularly check. If you've moved, make sure to include your current address or the new City and State.
2. You don't provide enough details on your last job.
Your resume may have gotten you through to your last job, but it's going to need updating to get you a new job. Think about major successes and accomplishments from your last job and highlight them on your resume so employers can see what you're capable of. If you've been promoted, outline that on the resume. It helps employers to see you have something of value to offer and that you've continued to advance in your profession. What you want to avoid is simply listing a generic job description to your last job.
3. You don't update your Skills or remove old certifications.
Each new job experience hopefully provides you with new skills, so make sure it's added to your resume. And if you have dated information like certifications for certain programs listed, check that it's still relevant to include otherwise it'll just look like you have outdated skills to offer.
4. You use abbreviations and acronyms only you may know.
If you're going to use abbreviations or acronyms, make sure they are popular enough that even the HR person will understand it. Every organization is different, so what may have been common lingo at your old job may not apply with other employers. Many employers are also using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to help filter through resumes that come in and they will search for keywords. You want your resume to include the popular terminology that will be searched, so don't just stick with abbreviations and acronyms - spell it out, too. For more tips on formatting your resume for the ATS, read: “5 Resume Formatting Rules For The ATS."
5. You keep adding to your resume, but you don't remove irrelevant jobs.
If you already have a resume in place to work with, that can help save you a lot of time. The problem arises when job seekers add to the resume, but forget to remove the irrelevant jobs. Employers are typically looking to see your last 10-15 years of experience, so anything beyond that can essentially be taken out for most professions. Also, carefully rephrase old information where appropriate so that it comes across as more relevant to the new employer or remove it if it's irrelevant. Another area you need to carefully review is the Education section. When you first graduated and were looking for a job, it was okay to try to impress employers with your GPA and relevant course work. However, once you have 5 or more years of experience under your belt, there's nothing more you need to include on Education other than the school attended, degree received, and any other relevant certifications. It's not even necessary to include the year you graduated because you'll be giving away your age.
You name your resume file inappropriately.
If you're sending your resume as an attachment, make sure it has an file document name like “JohnSmith-WebDeveloper.doc" Unfortunately many job seekers send out their resume document without considering the file name like: JohnSmith2009 (was that the last time you updated your resume?); JohnSmith-ABC Company (did you just reveal the name of another employer you applied to?); or JhnSmiht (are you showing how careless you where you can't even spell your name correctly?). You want the hiring manager receiving your resume to be able to identify you from other applicants, so present a recognizable and professional file name for your resume. Please also avoid sending the resume file as “MyResume.doc" because it'll probably be the 100th resume with that file name that the hiring manager has received that day.
It's the things that seem obvious that get most people in trouble on the resume. Make sure you're not making any of these careless mistakes!
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About the author
Don Goodman's firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.