Whether you are applying for a job or for college, your resume is an essential tool to prove your skills. It is the first thing employers or recruiters look at, and unfortunately, it is the factor that influences their further decisions. Are they going to offer you an interview?
Companies or big schools do not have time to evaluate everybody personally. You have to stand out from the crowd from the first moment they read about you. And one of the ways to do that is having an amazing resume.
Nowadays, there are so many unemployed people with great qualities. That’s because people are sometimes bad at promoting themselves. They are under the impression that their prospective employers will offer them interviews anyways – but most of the times they are wrong.
Time is money, and employers know that well. So they choose to spend their time wisely and interview people who would make perfect candidates since the beginning.
I have put up a list on what to avoid including in your resume. Be honest, but do not overuse your honesty in a damaging way.
Take a look at my list and leave me some feedback, whether positive or negative. Thanks!
1. Grammar or Spelling Mistakes
Having typos in your resume shows negligence and disrespect to the reader. It shows carelessness, and it absolutely says something about your skills. You do not pay attention to detail, and your job might not always be perfectly done.
Is this the first impression you want to give to your employer?
There are a lot of free services you could use in order to perfect your grammar or correct your spelling. All you have to do is find the one that fits your needs the best.
Melinda Johns, former freelancer shares her experience. “Before I started working for my current company, I was so anxious about my lacking grammar skills. I was not confident on my English at all, since all the teachers I had before were pretty bad. Step by step, I realized I have to change this, so I started practicing my writing every day. I ended up a CEO for a writing company – not bad at all I guess, huh?”
2. Being Vague
Employers have to be aware of your accomplishments. Having a good resume does not equal bragging – it just proves how valuable you are as a worker. So make sure you present your accomplishments accurately and clearly.
What you’ve done is very important for your future employer, because it shows the level of involvement you are willing to bring into his or her company. The following example is a good way to show your worth.
- I worked for Oaks Crab Company between X and Y period of time.
- I was supervising 20+ employers while working there.
- During my stay, the company has increased sales by 15%. My personal contribution was 13%.
They have to know how valuable you are, OK? Never ever forget that! Be specific and show your great results.
3. Including Irrelevant Information
Each company has its own rules, restrictions, and qualities they want to see in their future employees. Do not try to use the same resume for n companies. That means you are being lazy – it might work once, but it will not work forever. One size does not fit all, remember.
Including irrelevant information is irritating for an employer. It means you are not paying attention to what they are asking of you- so you are not as interested in the job as you should be. Excuse my harshness, but then why should they waste any more time with you?
4. Underlining Your Duties Instead of Accomplishments
Let me give you an example so you can understand this better.
- I attended group meetings and held presentations
- I worked with impoverished people and helped with daily chores
- I answered calls and talked to different clients
The above duties show what you had to do, not what you have learned after you have done your duties. Employers are less prone to care about what you’ve done – we can all do so many activities, right? – and more interested in what you’ve learned. Look at the next example.
- Attending group meetings made me expand my teamwork abilities and developed my courage and initiative
- Working with impoverished people taught me how to handle difficult situations and understand other cultures
- Talking to clients helped me develop my communication skills and made me much more sociable
5. Being Visually Too Busy
It is great to show all of your accomplishments and past activities, but make sure you do not overload your resume. Reading a piece of paper that is visually too busy will give your employer headaches.
Make sure you include everything that is relevant to the job you are applying for, but as I’ve said before, including too much can be very harmful.
Select your fond and style carefully, and do not use other colour that black and maybe dark blue. Do not include your photo or any kind of odd item that is not proper in your resume. Keep it visually attractive, but simple and clear. Stay brief, but explain what needs to be explained.
6. Using Passive Verbs
You have to show power and strength in your resume – and you have to do that in writing. Your best choice is to use action verbs. Do not use phrases such as “responsible for answering questions” or “in charge of X or Y.”
Try to change that into “Resolved important user questions and helped over 5,000 students.”
See the difference?
7. Omitting Information
While it is wrong to add too much to your resume, it is not smart to forget adding important information either. People tend to forget to add details about how one experience or another made them feel. They concentrate too much on the result, rather on the experience itself.
Do not forget to include that! It is important for your employer – it shows you are human, and you care about developing emotionally too.
8. Including Incorrect Contact Information
How and why would you do this? If you do not pay attention to your contact information, you might risk losing everything. Please double-check your e-mail, phone number, and Skype details. You never know who might be interested in you and trying to reach out.
9. Including Intentions
I have seen so many resumes that begin with a “purpose paragraph.” Job applicants simply write down the reason for applying, what they expect to learn, and how this job will affect their futures. I honestly believe that writing all that down is wrong.
For me, it shows too much planning. You haven’t even had an interview with your employer, and you are already planning your career in their company. You should be able to go with the flow, and make up goals as you go. Otherwise, what is the beauty of living life?
Before you submit your resume, double-check your grammar and spelling mistakes. Do not be vague, and show how much value you brought in your former company; do not include too much information if it is not necessary.
Make sure you highlight your accomplishments rather than your duties, and use action verbs to do that.
Be careful not to omit important information, and stay away from including boring “purpose introductions.”