Your resume is one of your top marketing tools and it needs to exude professionalism. At times, it is your one opportunity to be considered for the position. You can easily be disqualified from the position if you have errors. Be sure to avoid spelling and grammar errors, listing irrelevant information, sending a generic resume, and failing to list your contact information.
Always use spellcheck, but realize it won’t catch all spelling and grammar errors. Review your own resume 2-3 times after you have finished it and then ask a business professional to check for errors prior to sending it to employers. These errors can easily take away your credibility.
Refrain yourself from listing irrelevant information. In the past having an objective and listing references available upon request may have been acceptable. But times have changed and employers realize your objective is to work for their company, you did apply to them after all. They also know if they request a reference, you will provide one. Stay far away from stating the obvious. Irrelevant information also includes jobs that do not pertain to the position you are applying for. Early in your career, you will need to have those positions listed to support your job experience, but as your professional resume grows you will need to take them off.
I really want to emphasize the mistake of sending out generic resumes. Do NOT do it! Employers are flooded with applications and your resume needs to stand out. Sending a generic resume will not get you an interview. You need to tailor each resume to the job you are applying for. Look over the job description and see what they have listed as job requirements and other desired skills. Make sure your resume clearly incorporates all the job requirements and any of the desired skills you possess. If the job description lists Adobe Create Suite software knowledge as a requirement and you are a pro, but you failed to list/prove it on your resume, you have automatically taken yourself out of the running. Take the time to look at the job descriptions and really customize your resume to that position’s qualifications.
Lastly, make sure you have your contact information on your resume. You may have just sold us on yourself as a great candidate, and then we go to pick up the phone or email you and there is nothing listed. It sounds pretty obvious, however I have had people submit resumes with just their name or sometimes they will have included a mailing address, which does little to help in our fast paced world. Make sure you have both listed, and more importantly make sure it is a professional email. It’s free to create a gmail account, so if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org go create a new one!
You know now some of the top resume mistakes, so take a moment to look over your current resume. Do you have anything you need to update? Go update it. And if you have any questions or want us to be your second set of eyes, come in and see your Career Coach. We are here to help you succeed.
Emily Sullivan, Career Coach- General Business + Business Administration