Writing a good résumé isn’t always easy. It can take hours of work and multiple revisions before your résumé gets to the point where it’s ready to be seen. The résumé is the first impression of you that a lot of employers will see, so it’s important that it showcases your relevant skills and past experiences, and overall, what makes you a valuable asset to their team!
A bad résumé filled with mistakes can easily land you in the 'no' pile without the manager even giving it a second glance. Here are some common résumé mistakes that could lose you a job, and some tips on how to avoid them.
I remember being in my high school careers class, when my teacher mentioned to the class that an employer would automatically throw out our résumé if we made a spelling mistake. My reaction was one of shock. That seemed like a gross overreaction. I mean, it was just a mistake. I cleeeeearly know how to spell. *eye roll*
But it’s true. Fast forward a couple years and I had become that very manager to pass right over a résumé due to a silly mistake. What high-school me didn't understand at the time was that spelling mistakes in your résumé don't necessarily mean you can’t spell, but more simply give the impression that you just don’t care. You don’t want your résumé to look as if you typed it up in 5 minutes on your way out the door, so always be careful to double, and triple check your spelling.
I think it's safe to say that 'collegr' was just a slip of the finger. The odd manager may let this slide, but trust me, your chances of landing the job just decreased significantly.
A lot of times we’re hesitant to hand our work over to someone and have it be ripped apart, especially if you’ve already spent hours on it and just want to be done. But having someone read over your résumé before giving it an employer is the best way to catch things that you might have missed, such as forgetting to change your contact information to include your brand new phone number, or failing to include a relevant point that could ultimately help you land the job.
Not only that, but having a proof reader means you have a much better chance of catching all of those pesky spelling mistakes we just talked about too!
We've all heard that the ideal resume length is one page, especially when applying for an entry level position. However, a recent study actually states that the perfect resume length is two pages. According to this article, a manager is 1.4 times more likely to favour a two-page resume at the entry-level, and approximately 2.6 times as likely at the managerial level!
Avoid making repetitive statements in your résumé. If you’ve listed it once, the employer is already aware of it. If you’re listing similar responsibilities for multiple positions, try to find a way to re-word your point and draw upon key unique elements from that particular job.
This is problematic for so many reasons.
Language and wording
The language you use in your résumé should be professional and consistent. Avoid using words such as "like", or "basically" and over all, make sure descriptions are meaningful, well-worded and that you have confidence in the statements you’re making!
"Efficiently cashed out customers and provided them with a positive customer service experience."
"Practiced in using kitchen equipment"
Make sure you remain consistent throughout your résumé. If you’ve started listing job responsibilities in past tense maintain the same tense through-out your résumé. Flip-flopping back and forth can make your resume confusing a difficult to read
Always make sure you ask someone before using them as a
reference! You want to make sure the person is prepared for a call from your
potential employer, and is willing and ready to sing your praises.
I've seen people use references who have nothing good to say or who just refuse to give a reference altogether! That sucks. Not to mention will absolutely lose you the job. So just make sure you ask first.
Handing in a résumé with a friend
When applying to a job in person, never, ever bring a friend along! It’s unprofessional and generally sends the wrong message to managers. If a friend or family member is accompanying you to the location or giving you a ride, ask them to wait outside until you’re done.
Just as having friends or family accompany you while handing in a résumé sends the wrong message, the way you present yourself can also hurt your chances of getting the job if not done correctly. When you hand in a résumé (or go to a job interview), the way you dress should correspond to the company's dress code and/or level of professionalism. If you’re applying at an office where the dress code is business formal, do not show up in a T-shirt and ripped jeans.
To get more information on writing a good résumé, and great formatting tips, click here.
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