When writing your resume, be sure to avoid common mistakes such as typos and other mechanical errors, inconsistent verb tense and capitalization, inappropriate formats, and lying. Here are a few other blunders to keep in mind:
1. Be clear and concise when writing your objective.
In your cover letter, be specific and relevant when including your resume objective. Your objective should be suited for the precise position and industry you want to enter. Many people throw away five to seven lines with a generic list of qualities they look for in their career goals. Instead, think of your objective as if it were part of your elevator pitch–a sixty-second speech about who you are and what you do best.
2. Distinguish between what you do versus what you’ve done.
Instead of making your resume a list of your job duties, show HR professionals what you have accomplished. You want to demonstrate your successes as much as possible. If you don’t work in a field that relies heavily on numbers, you can still use data to back up your experience. For example, maybe you helped reduce the marketing budget by 10 percent while also increasing revenue growth. Or perhaps you coordinated and executed events that reached 100,000 potential customers in total. Consider how you can illustrate the effects of your work.
3. Don’t use too much technical language.
Keep your resume jargon-free and understandable. Even if most HR executives can guess what your daily role is, they may not be familiar with the details of your industry. If you can explain a concept without using jargon, do so. Also, avoid using company-specific acronyms; while it may be faster for you to use them, they will only serve to slow down or confuse the person reading your resume.
4. Be sure to list any skills you have that can be transferred to other areas.
The job description is your guide to inspire you on how to word your resume. Based on the key phrases and buzzwords in the recruiter or hiring manager’s writing, they will be looking for certain words in resumes that match up. By taking the time to calibrate your experience with what they are looking for, you will highlight why you are the relevant candidate for this role.
5. Be careful of a lack of punch.
With so many people vying for the same positions, it’s essential to make yours stand out. And we all know resumes can be pretty dull to read. So if you want yours to impress potential employers, focus on making it strong in terms of written communication while also differentiating yourself from other candidates. You can do this by varying your verb usage; some great examples are “maximize,” “facilitate,” and “collaborate.” If you’re still stuck, break out a thesaurus to expand your vocabulary.
Do you know of any other resume-writing mistakes to avoid? Got great tips on making your resume more competitive? Share with us in the comments!
Wondering how to make your resume stand out? Tiffany Dufu, Chief Leadership Officer at Levo, has some great tips!