Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 common resume Mistakes

An effective resume is a vital tool when you are looking for a job. However, most resumes fail to draw the attention of potential employers for predictable flaws and are rejected outright.You can rectify these with a little help.

An effective resume is a vital tool when you are looking for a job. However, most resumes fail to draw the attention of potential employers for predictable flaws and are rejected outright. Here’s a look at some of the resume sinkers and how you can avoid them and prosper in life!

  • Dense text: A content heavy resume with running text on the page is taxing for the eyes and looks highly unprofessional. Your resume should not be a never-ending one with minute details. Rather, stick to the standard norm of a two-page resume,  skimming the most relevant information. Use headings and sub-headings if required. Remember - your resume is not a biography, rather a marketing tool to land you the desired job.
  • Faulty font style: Resumes with various font types and sizes make them look as though they are lifted and pasted from various sources. Standardise the font sizes and styles to hold on the reader’s attention. Never use “all caps” mode as it’s not eye-friendly at all. (Also read: 4 steps to the right resume format)
  • Improper career Objective: The career objective is meant to tell the recruiter what you want to do. Don’t try and hyper the effect and make it a means to impress recruiters. Be job-specific and stick to the basics by being precise, terse and crisp.
  • Bluffs or lies: These days, the employers do a background check on the information provided by you in the resume. So, never lie on stuff for which you have no documented proof. Rather, highlight your strengths and achievements effectively. (Read: Is your CV a lie?)
  • Inserting picture: Never put your picture in the resume, unless asked for. Most employers look for skills rather than the looks of the employee and the picture is immaterial.
  • Understating skills: Not showcasing your actual skills in the resume is a fatal flaw. The recruiter checks for specific skills, so put relevant skills for the job you are applying in bold to avoid being overlooked. But, don’t boldface everything as it loses effectiveness then. Make your skills and knowledge relevant and compatible to the job you are applying  for.
  • Work experience in chronological order: Not listing work experience in reverse chronological order is zany. A resume should never be  chronological, so that your work history is not buried under unrelated work. Don't make it a past-oriented resume, rather, make a future-looking resume matching your skill sets, highlighting your unique selling points.
  • Presence of grammatical errors: Poor sentence structure and construction and grammatical flaws are a strict no-no. Review it many times to cross-check on the same so that the resume is impeccable. A grammatically flawed resume is not worth reading.
  • Consisting irrelevant information: Don’t include information about your school time projects or basic trainings that you may have attended. Also, do not list your height, weight, marital status and other irrelevant details in the resume.
  • Missing the important industry keywords: Leaving out important industry keywords is like ruining your chances in the fast changing competitive scenario. Try and use technical jargon as much as possible to showcase your strength in marketing yourself. (Also read: Using the right keywords)

By following these tips, you can avoid flaws that prevent employers from considering your resume seriously. But the basic rule is that your resume must be concise, clear, focused, persuasive and credible. It must be aesthetically-pleasing, strategically formatted, and relevant and essentially answer the question of the employer,"Why should I hire you?"

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