At one time or another you’ve probably wondered whether a resume you’ve written is good enough for the job you’re applying for.
You may have spent hours reviewing your newly tailored resume for that job you really want.
Or you may have gotten several friends to give you a second opinion.
Well you can stop wondering what you’ve done wrong.
Here are some of the top resume mistakes most job seekers don’t even realize they’re making.
Mistake 1: Being Too Meek, Failing to Be Bold
As Guy Kawasaki would say, “Don’t expect anybody to know what amazing things you’ve done if you don’t tout your own horn!” (roughly speaking)
It’s easy enough to write about your job on the resume like it’s a typical laundry list.
Your resume however is an advertisement that has to grab attention in 9 seconds or less.
What are you doing to get that attention?
You have to use bold yet honest statements about what you’ve done.
If you can do something the company really needs then say it.
If you know that something you’ve done before would apply in this case then say it.
Say it in big bold letters if you have to.
Hell, get rid of the objective statement.
State your position and courageously say what you can do for the company that makes money, saves money or saves time right on line one.
Mistake 2: Being Too Vague
If you’re going to tell me about successes I want to be able to see it in my head.
I want a vision of it.
So what did your success look like?
What was the result in a few short words?
Is your work history painting a picture of what you’ve done?
Is it telling us how you were the hero of the story?
If the hiring person can’t see it in their head just like that you lose.
Mistake 3: Devaluing Volunteer Work
Splitting your volunteer work from the rest of your work history is suicide.
It’s literally shooting yourself in the foot.
I see this a lot with clients.
They split their “paid” work from their “volunteer work” as if volunteer work is somehow worth less.
That’s the farthest thing from the truth.
Putting volunteer work at the very end of your resume (one or two page) is a mistake.
First off, hiring people may never see it if it’s at the end of your typical two page resume.
Secondly it makes your overall work history a lot shorter.
Mistake 4: Too Many Boring “Duty” Details
If you’re talking about the routine things you did at past jobs you’ll bore readers to tears.
Hiring people want more than just a few words on a duty.
They want to hear “success” and accomplishments.
Spin them a descriptive honest story about your duty that makes it sound as a major success or responsibility.
“Maintained IT tech system and customer service for a 30-person repair department”
is better than
“Maintained IT tech systems and provided customer service.”
Mistake 5: Making Work Gaps Glaring
Do yourself a favour.
Stop adding months to your job history.
Avoid adding words like “summer job” and “contract job”.
Adding that only serves to weaken the image that you’re trying to present.
You know you have, can and will do the job.
That’s what you want the employer to know.
So put your experience in the right light and focus on the what’s important: the successes.
Mistake 6: Mashing Everything Together
You can end up writing too much.
I have reviewed resumes of people who’ve listed 20 points on why they’re qualified.
Save that for the interview.
Your resume doesn’t have that much space or time to give them 20.
You need to give them five or less.
Avoid writing run on sentences.
The longer the list the less a person reads.
You want to give the very best at the very beginning.
Put only your most relevant additional interests at the end.
If your resume is longer than two pages you’re saying too much.
Mistake 7: Wasting Space on the Resume
Do you seriously need your name in 32 size font?
Do you need your address to take up the top 3 cm of your first page on the resume?
Think about how to use space to show off the best you have.
Contact information can be saved for smaller size or lower down on the resume instead of at the very top.
These are the seven mistakes many job seekers make when writing their first or future resumes.
Make sure you’re not one of those job searchers.
Get 39 resume writing secrets that only the pros would know with 101 Job Search Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Landing the Job You Want.