Five Resume Mistakes
By: MJ Pedone – September 23, 2013
Obsessing over every detail of your resume is a nightmare. Who knows what skills or accomplishments may catch someone’s eye knowing that HR manager receive a significant amount of resumes daily. Whatever you do to set yourself apart, make sure you’re not making these mistakes:
1. Don’t give your resume document a generic title.
We all have that document on our computers titled “My Resume.” But when you send it out, make sure the HR or hiring manager can find it, meaning it should contain your name and the word “resume” i.e. John Doe Resume.
Also, try not to give it a title that indicates it’s a resume skewed in favor of the position. For example Entertainment PR Resume” indicates that you have aggregated your relevant Entertainment PR experience to make it appear stronger and in favor of the position. HR managers want the total picture of your career experience and may be put off by a resume that has obviously been doctored in a certain direction.
2. Don’t put your name and contact information in the header.
This is one of those email/computer issues that can be killer. When formatting your resume, make sure that you do not put your contact information solely in the header. Often the header gets cut off or lost when sent via e-mail or to someone’s printer, and more importantly, resume filing software doesn’t pick up the information in the header. Make sure that if someone wants to contact you, they can.
Be sure and save your resume as a PDF file, which most people can open and view in its entirety and can’t be altered.
3. Don’t use fancy fonts.
Probably the moral of this story is to PDF your resume, but if you are going to send it as a word document, don’t use fancy fonts. Although these types of scriptive fonts look beautiful, it isn’t very professional and the person receiving the resume may not have the same font on their computer, and it can look ugly on their end. It is always safe to use Times New Roman that is a clean professional font.
4. Don’t go overboard with flowery, vague language.
Use specifics and the terms of the job description to which you are replying. Being overqualified can be just as bad as under qualified. If the job requires knowledge of Excel, make sure the HR manager is going to see Excel on your resume. You may describe “an award winning multiple screen high-end list,” but if you don’t say Excel, they may not get it.
5. Don’t leave holes in your history.
People who look through a significant amount of resumes, like the timeline to be chronological order. It’s important not to leave holes because you never know what someone may assume why you weren’t working for that period of time. Often times, college grads leave the year of their graduation off their resumes because they don’t want to look too young. But the work experience is often unrelated and for periods of less than a year which doesn’t look good. If you can see that a person was in school at that time, then it’s understandable.
It’s important for recruiters to be confident in the candidates they send out and that is why they need to have full disclosure. Even though resumes are marketing tools, people expect what is on your resume to be 100% accurate and not misleading. Build your resume with confidence and a complete chronological timeline that showcases your career progression from college to present.
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