Your resume will often be the first point of contact from your prospective employees point of view; they will know nothing about you up until this point. For this reason, it has to be impressive, it has to show what you can offer and perhaps most importantly, it has to stand out amongst the crowd. Employers often receive dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for a single vacancy and silly mistakes can cost you even a second glance.
Here are the top 10 reasons your resume may not be as strong as you think;
Spelling Errors – You could have the best school records, the best college grades, the best work experience, and the most amount of qualifications but if your resume has a number of spelling errors, it will be thrown in the ‘no’ pile or the bin very quickly. It shows a level of carelessness and a lack of attention; it can even show that you haven’t taken the effort to check for any errors. Employers may look past one as this can be an honest mistake but any more than that and they will give up.
Too Long – It can often get exciting writing a resume because you suddenly realise all the qualifications, hobbies, experience, and skills that you have but you need to keep your resume compact. The golden rule is two pages maximum and any more than that, the employer may not even find the effort or the time to glance through.
Not Enough Information – This sounds contradictory to the previous point but you still need to detail the most important points. For example, ‘I increased sales when I was a manager’ should change to ‘In my role as manager, I increased sales by 25% for the company which allowed them to reinvest and introduce a new product line’. Employers want to see what you did for your previous company in terms of numbers so they can find out whether you can do the same for them.
Consider An Objective – Objectives at the beginning of a resume have to be detailed and relevant or they shouldn’t be there at all. Remember, this is the first thing the reader will see, if it is no good the rest won’t even get read. Don’t just say ‘I want to enhance my skills in a fast-paced environment’ as this is too generic, try ‘I am looking for an entry level position at a reputable, growing sports business’ (or whatever your industry may be).
Strange Font – Many people get the idea of choosing a wacky font because it will make it unique but more often than not, it will just make the reader frustrated and annoyed. What’s worse is choosing a different font and different colours for each section; remember, you are trying to get a job here not an A in an art project.
Poor Layout – Again, this can be just as frustrating as using a wide variety of fonts. You need to use a professional layout that allows the reader to quickly see all your main points and how you would be a perfect fit for the business. Keep your sections clearly separated and don’t cram text in; if you are cramming, you have too much in your resume.
Rough Dates – Employers will be looking to remove any candidates that have had ten jobs in the last 12 months so the worst thing you could do is give rough dates of employment. If you spent some time out of work whilst you went back to college, had a child, volunteered abroad, or anything else that will develop skills, be honest and include it in your resume. This will be much better than giving rough dates in an attempt to bridge the gap, the reader will be looking for a skill set and key skills can be learned out of work.
Poor Reasons For Leaving Previous Employment – If you note that you ‘didn’t get on with managers or colleagues’ as your reason for leaving your last job, this won’t go down well. Employees want to see that you can take orders and work well within a team and one of these poor reasons will get your resume thrown in the bin instantly.
Lying – This one is simple and no matter how many people try it and no matter how many years people have been trying it, it never works. If you lie on your resume, it will immediately tell the reader than you cannot be trusted.
Underselling – Believe it or not, prospective employers will also look towards your achievements and if they see a lack of ‘tooting the horn’, it shows a lack of confidence or that you didn’t deserve it. You need to take responsibility for your successes and show confidence that you have the ability to help your new company to progress.
A recent survey suggests that some employers spend just SIX seconds on each resume and so if yours doesn’t stand out (in a good way) or if it immediately shows a red flag, your chance of getting an interview will be zero.
Use these tips to improve your resume and improve your chances of getting an interview today!
Robert Moment is an author and get hired expert who specializes in interview coaching that help ambitious people get hired for jobs and make more money. Robert is the author of several professional development books including, Interview Tips. Visit his site and sign up for the FREE 10 Day e-Course titled, How to Interview for a Job and Get Hired. Visit http://www.HowtoInterviewTips.com