Education & Career Trends: January 18, 2023
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
Your resume is often the first impression you make on a potential employer, and it’s important to put your best foot forward. However, even the most diligent job seekers can make mistakes on their resumes that can downplay their chances of getting an interview.
Here are some common resume mistakes that are easy to overlook but can significantly impact your job search.
1. Creating a Resume that is Too Long or Too Short
- It is essential to strike a balance with the length of your resume.
- A resume that is too long can be overwhelming for the reader and may cause them to lose interest or not fully review all of the information.
- On the other hand, a resume that is too short may not provide enough information about your skills and experience, and may not effectively showcase your qualifications for the position.
- A general rule of thumb is to aim for a resume of one to two pages.
- This allows you to provide enough information to highlight your relevant skills and experiences without overwhelming the reader.
2. Not Customising your Resume for Each Job Application
- Not customising your resume for each job application is often one of the most overlooked mistakes by job seekers due to a lack of time or knowledge.
- However, it suggests a lack of effort and attention to detail to your potential employer.
- It also indicates that you are not genuinely interested in the job or company.
- When you apply for a job, personalising your resume is one of the best resume tips to stand out to recruiters.
- It also allows you to showcase your relevant skills and experiences in a more targeted and relevant way to the specific job and employer.
3. Putting Education Above Experience
- It is generally more important to highlight your work experience rather than your education on your resume, especially if you have been in the workforce for a while.
- This is because most employers are primarily interested in your ability to perform the job and contribute to the company, and your work experience is the best indicator of this.
- However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
- For example, if you are a recent graduate with little or no work experience, it may be appropriate to list your education before your work experience.
- In this case, your education can serve as a substitute for work experience and can demonstrate your potential to an employer.
4. Adding Excessive Details About Your Previous Employers
- It is not a mistake to include brief overviews or blurbs about your previous employers in your resume.
- Doing so can help to provide context and background about your work experience and can help to highlight your skills and accomplishments.
- However, overdoing it can give rise to a few potential drawbacks.
- Including excessive information about your previous employers can make your resume too long.
- Moreover, if the information you include about your previous employers is not directly related to the job you are applying for, it may not be as effective in highlighting your skills and qualifications.
- In some cases, you may not be able to include specific information about your previous employers due to confidentiality agreements or other legal considerations.
5. Not Backing Up Your Skills or Achievements With Proof
- To prove your expertise and value to a potential employer, it is important to back up your skills and achievements with proof in your resume.
- Without concrete evidence of your skills and accomplishments, your resume may come across as lacking credibility and may not stand out as much to hiring managers.
- While mentioning your acquired skills or achievements, you can use specific and quantifiable examples.
- You can use numbers to make it more concrete and impressive.
- If you have received any awards or certifications that demonstrate your expertise in a particular area, ensure to attach them while sending your resume.
6. Not Incorporating Meaningful Metrics
- Not incorporating meaningful metrics into a resume can be a mistake because it leaves the reader without a clear understanding of how you will add value to their organisation.
- This can make it difficult for the reader to accurately evaluate your suitability for the job and may result in your resume being overlooked.
- These metrics can include the required skillset, sales figures, budget sizes you have handled, project goals accomplished, customer satisfaction scores, or employee engagement scores according to your industry.
7. Sending Unprofessionally Named Resumes
- Sending a resume with an unprofessional name can be an often overlooked mistake by jobseekers.
- It makes you appear less serious or professional to an employer, which could hurt your chances of being considered for the job.
- For example, names like “Resume1.doc” or “Resume2.pdf” appear vague and do not give any information about the contents of the file.
- Using your full legal name that appears on your identification documents is the most common and professional choice for a resume name. You can follow this format—”FirstName_LastName_Resume.doc” to name your resume, which is clear, professional, and makes it easy for employers to identify your resume.
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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)