faux pas of resume writing

Posted : September 29, 2015
Last Updated : September 29, 2015
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faux pas of resume writing

Having a great resume is one of the most important factors of obtaining a job. A resume is your first opportunity to impress hiring managers, so ensuring that it presents you in the best possible light is imperative. To help achieve a perfect resume, be sure to avoid these faux pas of resume writing.

Avoiding customization. Submitting a generic resume is a surefire way to not receive a callback. Whether you are a high school student looking for a part-time job, a college graduate just starting out on a career path, or a professional with years of experience, you should always customize your resume to make it fit the position for which you are applying.

Displaying an unprofessional email address. When applying for a job, it is crucial to present yourself in a professional manner. While a cute or risqué email address can seem clever among your group of friends, it can send the wrong message to HR personnel. Avoid email addresses that use nicknames or profanity and email addresses that are offensive or have sexual connotations. Instead, use a professional email address that has variations of your first, middle, and last name.

Having an unorganized layout. The hiring manager's eyes should be drawn to the important parts of the resume. To accomplish this, use headings to outline the important sections of the resume, and keep the most significant information at the top of the page (and on the first page if your resume is longer). If you are a high school or college student with no work experience, focus on your academic and extracurricular accomplishments. If you do have work experience, this section should be your focal point.

Using lazy words. Phrases such as "same as above" and "etc." are definite no-nos when writing your resume. You should always briefly summarize your responsibilities for each employment position even if you had similar duties at previous jobs. You can then make each position sound different by listing specific accomplishments that you achieved, which is the key to impressing hiring managers.

Neglecting to highlight accomplishments. As mentioned above, if you want to make an impact on a hiring manager, you need to put emphasis on your accomplishments. Think of instances where you achieved success at previous jobs, on classroom projects, or during extracurricular activities. Your goal is to demonstrate measurable successes to the greatest extent possible. Maybe you were you able to help a previous employer increase revenue growth by 10%. Or you created marketing campaigns in your college courses that five actual companies were able to use and implement. Or you organized a fundraising event that raised $5,000 for a charity in your community.

Omitting keywords. Many employers use electronic databases to store applicant resumes, and electronic scanners are programmed to look for key terms in your resume. Using the right keywords may help you get noticed and earn an interview. Use the job posting or description to help you determine which keywords, such as specialized degrees, languages, skills, etc., to include on your resume.

Choosing the wrong font. Your resume should be sophisticated in design and easily readable. Avoid fonts that are too flashy. Instead, you should choose a standard font that works on any computer's operating system, as your resume may be scanned by automated applicant tracking software. Some of the best font choices for resumes include:

  • Calibri
  • Arial
  • Garamond
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica

Failing to proofread. Typos and grammatical errors are one of the most common blunders that would cause a hiring manager to discard a resume. Submitting a resume that has typos only confirms that your attention to detail is lacking. Be sure to review your resume for any errors multiple times before submitting it to a potential employer. You should also consider having a friend or family member proofread it as well since fresh eyes may catch any mistakes that you miss.

Remember that you don't get a second chance to make a first impression, so avoid these resume blunders and be on your way to securing that job of your dreams.


 

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