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Your Resume Sucks: What You’re Doing Wrong

If you’re a recent grad, you’re almost certainly looking for a job. How are things going? If you’re not getting a lot of calls back from your resume, it could be the terrible job market, but a terrible resume could be the real culprit. Are you making major mistakes with your resume? Read on to learn about the biggest resume mistakes that just might cost you your next job.

From Flickr user http://www.flickr.com/photos/pesut/

Everyone likes to put their best foot forward, and in a job search, the tool that gets you in the door is your resume. Somehow, this incredibly short document has to sum up your entire professional life, and impress potential employers at the same time. Is yours doing the job, or getting thrown in the trash? If you’re making these resume mistakes, chances are, it’s the latter:

  • Untailored submissions

    Having just one resume for every single job you’re applying for is a big mistake. Employers do not care to read about irrelevant experience, skills, and education that are more applicable for other jobs than the position they have to offer. Although it can be tedious to create a new resume for each position, you should at least make sure that you have a relevant resume for each type of job you typically apply for.

  • Errors

    These are really common, and really easy to fix. Typos, grammatical errors, and other simple issues with your resume do not reflect well on you, or your attention to detail. Ask a friend, colleague, or family member to give your resume a once-over and edit before you send it off to potential employers. Oh, and be absolutely certain that your contact information is correct. You wouldn’t want to miss any important phone calls or emails!

  • Focusing on duties, not accomplishments

    Your daily work life experience might feel important to you, but employers want to see results. When you list all of the things you’ve done for a former employer, they know what you can do, but not what you can deliver. For a resume that really sells, highlight your accomplishments. Consider how you set yourself apart, and what you’ve done that would really impress an employer.

  • Overdoing it on embellishments

    Your resume represents you, and lots of job seekers want their resume to reflect their personal style. That’s fine, but be careful not to go overboard. Too much ornamentation can be really distracting and even make your resume difficult to read. Busy hiring managers might initially notice your resume, but might be overwhelmed by too much distraction. Plus, many resumes are submitted to electronic systems that do not recognize lots of graphics and fonts, automatically rejecting entries with this sort of embellishment.

  • Sharing way too much information

    The best resume offers a concise review of exactly what you have to offer a company. Resumes that span more than one page, share every single entry in your work history, irrelevant accomplishments, or your life story are entirely too much work for a hiring manager to sift through. Keep it short, relevant, and results-driven to land the interview.

  • Writing an objective

    This outdated resume practice can be a real problem for job seekers. Although you may have downloaded a resume template that includes one, delete it immediately. Objective statements are, more often than not, totally awkward, and totally unhelpful. Hiring managers typically skim right over them. Even objective statements that are actually read can be harmful, painting job seekers into a corner. Employers may have several job openings available, even ones that you don’t know about. Keep your options open by avoiding the objective statement completely.

  • Missing keywords

    So often, employers require job seekers to enter their resume into an electronic system that scans to find the best submissions. That means unless you can make it past the scanner, your resume may not ever see human eyes. The best way to get in the keeper file is to use plenty of applicable keywords that are relevant to the job. Be sure to identify the most important keywords in your field and find a relevant place for them on your resume.

Are you making these major resume mistakes? Share your biggest blunders and advice for other job seekers in the comments.

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