Avoid the Top 10 Resume Blunders
Designing a resume can be tedious. But what if your resume is tedious to read?
Peter Vogt / Monster.com
November 02, 2007
It’s deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. So prevention is critical, especially if you’ve never written one before. Here are the most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.
1. Typos and Grammatical Errors
Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: “This person can’t write,” or “This person obviously doesn’t care.”
2. Lack of Specifics
Employers need to understand what you’ve done and accomplished. For example:
● Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.
● Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.
Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but clearly the second one’s details and specifics will more likely grab an employer’s attention.
3. Attempting One Size Fits All
Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.
4. Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments
It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:
● Attended group meetings and recorded minutes.
● Worked with children in a day-care setting.
● Updated departmental files.
Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done as what you’ve accomplished in your various activities. They’re looking for statements more like these:
● Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
● Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
● Reorganized 10 years’ worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.
5. Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short
Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing the length of your resume. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.
That doesn’t mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don’t feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don’t cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.