Competition for top jobs at the best companies is always intense, so if you want to get an interview, your resume must be flawless. As a highly motivated candidate, you’ve probably spent hours perfecting your resume and believe it to be impeccable. There’s no doubt you’ve done a great job with it, but there’s always room for improvement.
Many job seekers inadvertently make the same common mistakes on their resume, so learn what everyone else is doing wrong and immediately make adjustments if any of the blunders below sound familiar.
Rambling on for Pages.
Your resume is not a novel and its length shouldn’t mirror one. It’s okay if it extends past one page, but it needs to stop at two — unless you’re interviewing to be the CEO of a major company. Instead of including every single skill and accomplishment you’ve garnered throughout your career history, focus only on your top achievements most relevant to the position.
Failing to Make It Scannable.
The person reading your resume likely has a huge stack of others to get through in a short period of time, so they’re not going to read every word. Use bullet points to make your content scannable, so it’s easy to read while skimming. Don’t let your best attributes get lost in a large chunk of text.
It’s a given that you’ll provide references if asked, so there’s no need to include it on your resume. Instead, use this valuable real estate to offer an extra bullet point that helps sell you as the best person for the job.
Not Quantifying Achievements.
Listing key accomplishments is a great way to prove your value, but a statement is much more powerful when quantified. For example, noting that your accounting skills saved the company money last year doesn’t have nearly the effect of explicitly stating that you saved the company $150,000 last year.
Submitting it Without Proofreading.
Double and triple checking your resume for spelling and grammatical errors seems like a given, but a surprising number of people skip this step. Your resume is the first impression a potential employer gets of you and when it contains even one mistake, you give the impression that you don’t take pride in your work. Consequently, it’s probably not going to score you any interview invitations.
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