Resume Mistakes

Don’t Trivialize Your Past Experiences
After writing numerous resumes for students and recent graduates, I found that the vast majority of them tend to omit part-time or temporary jobs from their resumes. A lot of students have experience working in either the retail or hospitality sector, and because these jobs are not “real jobs” or full-time positions, a lot of students do not feel the need to include them. “Why would I write that I worked there on my resume?” a student recently asked me, referring to a retail store.
The answer is – a lot of part-time and temporary jobs that students tend to hold actually provide valuable skills and experience that employers are looking for on resumes. Employers are aware that you probably have little to no work experience, so any experience is usually viewed as a positive.
The important thing is to demonstrate this in an effective way on your resume. Don’t just write “folded clothes” or “processed transactions” when referring to a retail position. Instead, include that you built and maintained relationships with customers or that you regularly met or exceeded your sales targets. There are tons of other skills you could have acquired, but it all depends on the way you present yourself. Sell yourself and make your position stand out amongst similar positions from other candidates.
Just remember – don’t trivialize your work experience. There are skills to be learned from every job, and it’s important to show on your resume that you’ve acquired skills that are relevant to jobs you’re applying for, especially when you have little to no work experience. 

Instant Resume Killers
Want to cause a recruiter to toss your resume instantly? When an employer is faced with several – possibly hundreds – of applications, he or she will try to narrow this list down quickly. Making one of the following mistakes can get your resume tossed in just a matter of seconds.
No cover letter attached
This is not a good start to any job application. Failing to include a cover letter instantly means that you have failed to put in that extra 10 minutes of effort, and this is never a good thing. A lot of recruiters delete their first round of applicants simply because they have not included a cover letter.
Applying for the wrong job
It happens all the time – candidates get so caught up in applying to as many jobs as possible that they accidentally send their resume sand cover letters to the wrong people. When a recruiter sees that a cover letter has been accidentally addressed to the wrong company, it will get tossed immediately. 

A bad picture on a resume (especially an inappropriate one)
It’s true that different resume standards apply to different countries. That being said, some countries are more accepting (and encouraging) of pictures on resumes than others, however please stick to professional-looking photos only – you are applying for a job after all. There is no need to include a picture of yourself posing in a tank top or drinking with friends. Better to stick to no picture at all.
Providing little to no details about your work experience
Employers want you to be as specific as possible with regards to your qualifications, and therefore you should provide an adequate amount of information. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people list their job titles ONLY under “work experience”, and that will just not cut it. Once an employer sees that you’ve provided little to no detail on your experience, they will immediately delete your resume.
 Is Your Resume Too Long?
One of my friends recently posted an available position within her company on a major job search website, and she instantly received tens of applications in her inbox. She works for a small business – she is not exclusively a hiring manager – so filling this vacancy was just an added responsibility on top of everything she had to do already. In other words, she had very little time to waste. 

Her decision to read or discard a resume was made within seconds- and based simply on the length of the resume. “I simply don’t have enough time to read each person’s resume all the way through,” she says. “In order to give everyone a chance, I need to skim, and I need to skim through only the important information – I don’t have time to look for it. One resume I came across was 9 pages long, another was 7. One resume listed a retail position in 1976 as the top position under ‘work experience’ and another opened with a page-long biography. Who has time to read that?”
The answer is probably no one. You need to be mindful about the length of your resume – a reader can discard your resume without even looking at your name the second he or she sees that it is too long. Make it easy for them – they don’t want to hunt for the most relevant facts.
So how do you cut down the length? Keep some of the following in mind:
Objective statement:
Some people tend to get a little carried away here and it adds to the length of their resume. This is not supposed to be a paragraph or, even worse, a page. A sentence or two is plenty.
Professional experience:
This tends to be a problem for people with a lot of work experience. Make sure you provide the most information on the positions relevant to the job you are applying for. Keep dates in mind as well – unless absolutely necessary, you do not need to list positions you held 15 years ago.
References:
Do not provide these unless asked. Sometimes this can take up a lot of resume space.
While the ideal length of a resume is entirely debatable, you generally do not want to exceed 2 pages. Stick to the most important facts and try to incorporate some of my tips into cutting down the length – it will increase your chances of getting read! 

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
You’ve probably been told over and over that the use of proper spelling and grammar are extremely important on your resume and that one little mistake can ruin your chances at obtaining a particular job. It seems to me that these warnings are given out all the time. When I ask people to tell me the number one mistake on a resume, they almost always say that it’s bad spelling and/or grammar. This really makes me wonder because it’s pretty rare that I come across an error-free resume. There always seems to be something, whether it’s a misspelled word or a missing comma. The best explanation I can come up with is that people today seem to rely a little too much on spell and grammar check programs.
Spelling and grammar check programs are great in many ways, and they seem to pick up a lot of common mistakes. For example, they automatically add apostrophes to words like “can’t” when you forget to put one in there. Or they might automatically capitalize the word “I.” They also do a good job at highlighting some clearly misspelled words. Despite all of these benefits, however, programs like these should not be seen as flawless. There are tons of things they can miss, and below are a few examples: 

Same word, different spelling:
Some words sound exactly alike, but have different spellings with entirely different meanings. Spell check will not pick up when these words are used improperly. These words could include: then, than, your, you’re, too, to, two, their, there, are, our... and this is only naming a few.
Word choice:
Did you know, for example, that the words “which” and “that” can not exactly be used interchangeably?
Punctuation:
Comma omissions and unnecessary commas are usually not picked up.
Overall structure of your resume:
Is your resume written in past or present tense? Or are the tenses all over the place? Consistency is something these programs won’t notice.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use these programs – they are useful in many situations. I’m saying that you shouldn’t rely solely on them to check over your resume because they aren’t foolproof. It’s important to check and re-check it yourself and to then also show it to a couple of friends and see what they can find. We sometimes rely on computers to do too much for us, and we forget that they aren’t even close to flawless. Don’t underestimate the capabilities of the human eye. 

Top 10 Resume Mistakes
My philosophy is simple: Stick to the facts. If in doubt, leave it out!
# Abbreviations
Avoid abbreviations! They are unprofessional and not universally accepted. Trust me; nothing looks worse on a resume than seeing sentences resembling the following: “duties included answering the fone and going 2 c clients.” This is a resume, not a text message. Make sure you use correct words and proper sentences.
# Personal Information
Leave off anything related to hobbies or personal interests. If it doesn’t relate to employment it doesn’t belong on a resume. Information such as weight and height is irrelevant (unless of course you’re trying out for basketball team). I have seen resumes where people include their eye color and comments about their skin (“glowing skin”). Do not give the reader a reason to eliminate you because of your personal characteristics. Again, stick to the formula – if it does not relate to the job it doesn’t belong on the resume.
# Graphics / Artwork
 
People feel that in order to be noticed they need their resume to look like a piece of artwork. This perception is wrong and has the opposite effect of appearing unprofessional and amateur. At the end of the day, the employer only wants to see skills, duties, and achievements. He or she is not interested because your resume is shaded yellow with a butterfly in the top right-hand corner.
# Negativity
Never, never, never be negative on your resume or cover letter (and most importantly, in your interview). If you left your previous job because you hated your boss, keep it to yourself. Do not try to explain this on your resume because you cannot explain those reasons in writing. Remember, a resume’s job is to promote and sell. Do not get eliminated immediately for being negative.
# No Dates
DO NOT MAKE THE READER HAVE TO GUESS! This is such a killer on any resume. INCLUDE DATES. What years did you go to high school? How long did you go to university? When did you graduate? How long did you work at your current job?
Do not make the person reading your resume have to ask these questions. The minute this happens, your resume is going to one place—the trash bin! Make sure your resume flows and you have no gaps in your dates. If you took a year off to go travelling, include this. When you include dates DO NOT just include years. For example, “I worked at McDonalds from 2006-2008”– what does this mean? Did you work for 3 from January 2010 to December 2011, or for a little over 1 year from December 2010 to January 2011? 

# Long-winded
Long long long long long resumes are boring!!!! If an employer sees an extremely long resume, they will immediately develop a negative frame of mind. Remember, resume readers tend to have little patience, especially when they need to read 100 resumes. You do not gain extra brownie points for writing the longest resume—enough said!
# Lack of achievements / highlights
I never understand how people get this wrong, but so many times people fill up their resumes with irrelevant information, and they leave off the most vital part of a resume—showing off your highlights and achievements. Think about it—most people who apply for the same job can all do the standard day to day duties. So what separates the good resume from the bad resume? It’s the one that includes achievements and highlights. It includes how they were an asset at their previous job. Employers want to see not that you just worked and did a good job, but that you added value to the company. Leaving off your achievements is the best way to get your resume tossed in the bin. Alternatively, including value-added achievements is the best way to get your resume put on the top of the list.
# Irrelevant information
Everyone is proud of achievements they have accomplished throughout their life. Finishing second place in the 100 metre sprint final in my first year of high school was a great thrill, but is it relevant on my resume? Does it add value to it? Use common sense when including “extra information.” Receiving your CPR certificate is relevant when you’re applying for a job that requires this, such as a lifesaver or swimming instructor. It isn’t so relevant if you received your CPR certificate 10 years ago, and now you’re going for a job as a CEO.
# Grammar mistakes and typos
People read this point and think, “Obviously my resume isn’t going to have spelling mistakes and typos.” I can tell you from experience that 1 in 5 resumes will make this vital mistake. When an employer has 100 resumes, the first 20 are eliminated because of grammar mistakes or typos. These mistakes are glaringly obvious on a resume. Make sure you use spell-check, but more importantly, re-read your resume. Even give it to someone else to read over.
# Trying to sound “Too Clever”
You may think that using words such as “meticulous,” “scrupulous” or “industrious” to describe yourself may make you sound smart, unfortunately they can have the opposite effect. Your resume is a representation of you. Don’t forget this! 

Too Much Make Up
As a job candidate there are many variables that are beyond your control when applying for a job. Employer perceptions, personal preferences and competition are just a few.
Resume writing is an art form. There is no foolproof advice that will guarantee your resume to land an interview, however there are many different aspects that make up a great resume and in order to succeed you need to make sure your professional resume ticks all the right boxes.
 
There are millions of tips on how to write the best resume but the number rule of professional resume writing is as follows:
If your resume is difficult to read, fewer people will read it.
A well designed resume should aim to allow any person to pick up your resume up and read it. Your resume needs to allow 100% of people who wish to read your resume the ability to do so. I’m not saying everyone will understand what you do on a day to day basis, but they must be able to read through the resume and clearly be able to identify your work history, dates, skills, achievements etc.
So where do job seekers go wrong when preparing their resume writing?
Too much “make-up”
A resume is a marketing document and as such needs to be written in a professional way. Think about all the important documents you have received. The document is professionally laid out, spelling and grammar is correct, and the document is formatted and presented professionally. Your resume has one single purpose and that is to get you a job. It is not a work of art that is going to be hung up in the living room or framed in the study.
Trying to “Deceive the Reader”
The reader of the resume is only interested in the facts! Hiring managers and recruiters read hundreds of resumes on a daily basis and can easily pick up a resume that is exaggerated or sounds “too good to be true”.
Wasting Time and Space
A good resume will attract the reader’s attention within the first 10-15 seconds. Alternatively, a bad resume will be deleted within 10-15 seconds. Do not waste the limited time and space you have on your resume to impress the reader. Focus on your achievements and the value-added skills you can offer your next employer. Use selected keywords to highlight your skills and promote yourself. Your resume is your selling tool and therefore needs to be able to sell all the key areas that will make you the perfect candidate for the job. Unfortunately once your resume has been deleted it will never be able to be viewed again. You have one chance to impress!
 www.cinterviews.com appreciates your contribution please mail us the questions you have to cinterviews.blogspot.com@gmail.com so that it will be useful to our job search community





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