Your resume is your first step at a prospective employer’s door. Vaibhav Gangan shares common resume mistakes to avoid.
In this age of information overload, getting the job you desire is not as straightforward as it used to be, even if you have the required skills and qualifications. Companies are looking for solution-providers, not just highly-skilled individuals.
While writing your resume, please keep in mind these CV tips and avoid these common mistakes.
Mistake 10: Being vague
Is your resume full of flowery words, adjectives and adverbs that say a lot and mean nothing? Be specific. Give examples. Mention figures and statistics. Don’t write “improved sales“, say “grew revenue by 8% by increasing sales from 180,000 units to 248,000 unites in financial year 2014.”
Mistake 9: Beating around the bush
While writing opening statement/career objective, don’t be shy to say which position you are applying for and why you are suitable for that position. State the obvious up front. Don’t leave the recruiter wondering why he should hire you. Again, be specific. List the skills and experience that are directly relevant to the position you are applying for.Â In fact, don’t bother writing an objective. This usually doesn’t add any value to the recruiter. Use that space to write your summary as mentioned above.
Mistake 8: Grammar errors, sloppy style and spelling mistakes
Check for typographical errors and spelling mistakes. Remove unnecessary exclamation marks and other symbols. Don’t use special characters. Don’t use multiple colors and multiple fonts. Keep it simple in formatting as well as language. Since you have written and re-written your resume many times, you may not spot some errors. Get someone else to proof-read your CV.
Mistake 7: Sloppy style and inappropriate tone
Review your resume as a third person. Is your tone style lazy? Does the passion show through your tone?Â Is your resume easy on the eye? Use bullet points. Avoid jargon (yes!). Don’t use acronyms which are specific to your current company. For e.g., “Delivered SIP project while meeting TPA deadlines.”
Mistake 6: Whistler
Don’t list hobbies and interests that are irrelevant to the position applying for. For example, whistling as an interest is not important unless you are applying for a music teacher’s position.
Mistake 5: References
Should you include references or not? Unless you are applying for graduate jobs, or entry-level jobs, references are not needed at the application stage. There is no need to say “references available on request”. Of course, certain employers specifically ask for references with CV, in which case you should provide references that are ready to endorse you. Make sure you have briefed your referees.
Mistake 4: Passive
Some CVs are so passive that recruiter almost stops reading after the first few lines. This happens especially when the candidate is low on self-confidence, or shy to express achievements. Your resume should reflect your achievements, and you can legitimately boast of your work here. List the specific challenges you faced and the results you achieved, and how your work helped your company.
Mistake 3: Personal information
A recruiter is rarely interested in your marital status, date of birth. You can leave out these details.
Mistake 2: Getting adventurous with structure
There’s a widely-accepted structure for CVs and resumes around the world. Stick to it and don’t re-arrange sections randomly. The most popular template of a CV/resume includes, in this order: professional summary, education, experience, skills, awards/achievements, professional accreditation, and interests.
Mistake 1: Generic resume, and resume without cover letter
This is the most common and most suicidal mistake that could cost you your dream job – sending the same CV to all recruiters. Your resume must be tailored to the specific job. I don’t mean window-dressing your CV or adding false information there. Far from it. In fact, you should be honest in your CV. However, you must customize your CV to highlight those skills that are directly relevant to the job you are interested in. Which also means leaving out all those details that are not important for the job.
Do you have any other tips that you would like to share? Please use the comment section below.
Resume writing tips from Seek
- Keep to the employer’s submission requirements – .doc, pdf, docx, rtf
- Brief is best – more details about your current or recent jobs, less about the past
- Clear, straightforward text – make sure everyone can understand it
- Use one font – formatting matters and easy to read makes you stand out
- Put contact information at the end – not the start or middle
Highlight specific skills – relevant to the job you’re applying to