In this Post you will Learn the Do’s and Don’t in Creating the Perfect Resume
When looking for a job, your resume is the most important marketing tool at your disposal.
They say there is nothing like first impressions, and this is so true when a potential employer reads your resume. It is their first interaction with you.
A recruiter or hiring manager will make a split-second decision about you based on your resume. Any mistake on your resume, can result in that resume being put in the waste basket.
Below you will find some common resume mistakes.
Spelling & Grammar Mistakes
An unprofessional resume full of spelling and grammatical errors will negatively impact your ability to get a job. Your candidacy for a job depends on a cleanly written resume.
Even if you are talented in your field, many hiring managers and recruiters will deem you incompetent if you do not use proper English. It is important and worth the time it takes to make sure your resume is free of errors. If you are not the world’s best speller or your grammar could use some brushing up, ask friends and family for help. Beware: most automated spell checks do not effectively fix all errors, so don’t depend on spell check.
In terms of writing style, always write in the third person on resumes. Writing in the first person is considered unprofessional. You should write using professional words and technical terms; slang is not acceptable.
Embellishing on your Resume
Your resume should honestly reflect your true skills. This is paramount.
If your resume is embellished, at some stage in the hiring process (likely the interview stage) you will be caught—an interviewer will ask you questions about the skills or experience you listed on your resume, and you won’t be able to answer. If your resume lists job titles you never held, companies you have not worked at, education you do not possess, or falsified job dates, these things will be flagged during a background check.
Many employers use third party background check companies. Employers listed on your resume and educational institutions you attended will be contacted directly during the background check. If what you listed on your resume cannot be verified, you will be disqualified from that job, even up to the offer stage.
It is ok to list things on your resume that you have done but are not an expert in. But on the other hand, you should never lie outright.
Complying with Resume Norms
What is considered normal resume content in some countries is unacceptable in others. For example, in North America, including a photo of your family in your resume is a no-no. So is including how many people are in your family, their names, ages, etc. Putting these items on your resume will make you look strange compared to other job seekers, and could cost you the job.
Learn the resume norms of the country you’re currently living in and comply with them.
Not Using the Right Resume Format
When formatting a resume, it is recommended you use a standard word document or PDF file in a version that most employers will have. Try not to use uncommon or unfamiliar file formats, such as JPEG. Why? You want to ensure that your file can be opened without any difficulty. If a hiring manager cannot open your file, it will be game over for you.
Not Choosing the Right Resume Font, Color, and other Aesthetics
When choosing a font, use a standard Word font: Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. These are standard business fonts and you should stick with one of them. The font should be consistent throughout the entire resume. Keep it to a size 10 or 12 – not too small to read but not too big to overpower the page.
No matter how much you are tempted, keep the font color plain black. The only time you should deviate from this would be if you were applying for an art-related job – then your artistic creativity can trump standard formats.
You want your resume to stand out. But at the same time, you don’t want it to be so different that it attracts negative attention. Bolding and highlighting text is a good way to draw potential employers’ eyes to key areas you want them to look at. It is recommended you bold key topics, such as Job History or Education. Bold and/or underline important words like job titles. By bolding and highlighting key areas and words, your resume will stand out but not deviate from accepted formats.