Common Resume Mistakes To Avoid: Part 2

As a job seeker, it is critical to develop a compelling resume that will capture a potential employer's interest. Because you may not have the opportunity to clear up any misprints or misinterpretations, it's essential that every single section of your resume is clearly stated and persuasive.

resumeBased on the job posting, include keyphrases that will capture an employer's attention. Keep in mind that prospective employers may use computer scanning software to search for keyphrases to minimize the number of resumes a hiring manager has to read, so it is critical to line up your resume with the skills listed in the job description. Here are several common mistakes to avoid when writing your resume:

Too Much Information
It's good to be detailed, but some information should be omitted from your resume.

• Don't exaggerate your accomplishments. Never lie about your previous salary, employment history, or education credentials. According to a study by Career Directors International, the most frequently fabricated information on a resume are degrees.

• Skip irrelevant information. Only include skills that would qualify you for the position you're pursuing. If you don't have much experience in the field yet, highlight transferable and soft skills, like computer proficiency or ability to communicate.

• Outdated information shouldn't be included. Many hiring managers or recruiters suggest to include work history from your past three positions.

Spelling And Grammar Errors
Proofreading your resume and cover letter just as you would an important homework assignment. You want your resume to hold up under a discriminating reader's attention. 

• Run a spell check function to catch any obvious misspellings before you go back and re-read everything carefully.

• Have an instructor or your college's career placement services advisor review your resume.

• Use a dictionary or thesaurus when necessary to make sure you are using the appropriate words.

• Be attentive to words that are spelled correctly, but aren't relevant to the topic. For example, you could accidentally type "their" instead of "they're".

You don't want to waste precious space on your resume by including redundant information.

• Don't write an objective statement at the beginning of your resume. The hiring manager knows you're looking for a job, so write a brief career summary instead, emphasizing why you're a strong candidate for the position.

• Use job highlights rather than descriptions. Most hiring managers know what a certain position entails, so instead of stating the obvious, show what you accomplished and how much time it took you to do it.

Human resource departments receive large quantities of resumes and don't spend much time reviewing each one. You don't want to make them hunt for the essential information. With a smooth layout, all of your accomplishments will be easy to spot, and you will improve your chances of landing that interview.

• To avoid repeating your work history, organize your resume into easily scannable sections. Devote one section to education, one to work experience and one to valuable skills.

• Adjust your format to complement your experience. Your qualifications may need to be structured differently from another applicants.

• If you have held several different positions with one organization, create one subheading for the company and list your experience below, emphasizing that you got promoted so it doesn't appear that you left and then returned.

• Use bullet points underneath bold subheadings to make it easy to follow.

• Use the same layout for each entry under the education and work experience sections.

• Don't use very small font to prevent your resume from exceeding one page. Instead, work on making your sentences more concise.  

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