When you're looking for a new job, your resume is your calling card. It's often the first time a potential employer gets to meet you. Obviously, you want to make a good first impression. This means you don't want a resume that leaves potential employers shaking their heads.
When most people think of mistakes, they think of misspelled words, poor formatting, and typos. These things are easy to avoid by proofreading your documents thoroughly. But there are other mistakes that you probably don't realize you're making. These mistakes can look pretty careless, but they are easy to fix if you spot them before it's too late. Here are three of the biggest resume mistakes:
The first thing a recruiter is likely to do after receiving your resume is to check you out on LinkedIn. This is often when inconsistencies crop up because your resume doesn't agree with your LinkedIn profile. This is not to say that your resume and LinkedIn profile should be mirror images. But, they should agree when it comes to current and past employers, job titles, and dates of employment.
Unfortunately, when candidates prepare a resume they often "lump" all their work at an employer under their current (and likely most prestigious) title. This is bad for two reasons. First, it fails to show career advancement. Second it makes employers wonder what other inaccuracies they may find.
Incomplete Contact Information
This may seem like a no-brainer, but some people are so focused on the meat of their resume, they forget to include their contact info. When you're looking for a job, it's important to make it easy for interested parties to contact you. Some recruiters prefer to contact candidates via email. Others would rather just call.
Of course, if they really want to contact you it's not impossible to find your phone number or email address. But why would you want to make a potential employer jump through hoops? Be respectful of the preferred communication styles of others by providing complete contact information. While you're at it, put your LinkedIn address on your resume, too.
Resumes that highlight outside activities that directly contradict a candidate's job aspirations are just a waste of valuable space! Think an accountant with a side business designing jewelry. Resumes that include sports activities, like being on the soccer team, when the candidate graduated 15 years ago. While you're at it, unless you graduated in the last five years, there's no reason to include graduation dates.
Besides being irrelevant, including a few lines about leading your college team to victory (unless you're a recent grad) takes up valuable space that could be used to focus on your skills and achievements. Things that employers do care about!
Your resume needs to make a good first impression. One that will make a recruiter or hiring manager want to learn more, and possibly contact you for an interview. Don't waste space with irrelevant information. Don't confuse them with inconsistencies or make them go into detective mode to find you. Begin your relationship with a potential employer as the candidate to beat.
Writing a resume is tricky but Work It Daily can help! Our coaches can review your resume and offer tips on how to make it stronger. By joining Work It Daily, you'll have access to one-on-one coaching, video tutorials, and numerous networking opportunities through our platform. Join today and give your career a boost!