By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Heather Huhman
You want your résumé to impress the future employer reading it. It’s the first impression you’ll get to make, but it’s amazing how many people continue to gloss over errors. In the job market today, you need to ensure your résumé is going to be read rather than quickly scanned and thrown away.
So, do you know what your résumé really says about you? Here are some typical mistakes job seekers make—and what they can make future employers think of you:
- Typos, misspelled words, and bad grammar can make a hiring manager think you’re careless or won’t pay attention to details on the job. Show you are capable of doing the job by choosing words carefully and catching any mistakes.
- Including too much information can make employers think you aren’t able to write clearly and concisely, which has become increasingly important in today’s high-tech world. Your résumé might not be read if it’s too long, either.
- A busy, cluttered résumé may make others think you are unorganized and scatterbrained on the job.
- Sending the same document for every job opening shows you aren’t great at adapting. Show the future employer you know what they need and you are the one who can help them fill that need.
- Using an inappropriate name for your e-mail address will very likely make hiring managers skip your résumé altogether. It’s unprofessional—create an e-mail account with some variation of your name for job seeking purposes.
- Incorrect or false information can make the employer think you haven’t updated your résumé for the job opening—or worse, that you aren’t being honest.
- Make sure your name is bold and stands out from the rest of your résumé.
- Combine sentences that are too similar. This will make your message much clearer and allow for easier reading.
- Change all responsibilities to accomplishments you had at that position. Most people who will read your résumé don’t want to hear about the general tasks you did, but rather how you benefited the company while you were there.
- Eliminate anything that doesn’t pertain to the job for which you are applying. You want to show the employer you know what they are looking for and YOU are it.
- Read your résumé out loud or have a friend look it over. You will catch anything that sounds awkward and your friend can probably give you some suggestions you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
- Don’t bury important skills. If it’s important in your field to have extensive computer skills, write about that in your professional profile (at the top) rather than burying it in a ‘skills’ section (at the bottom).
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CAREEREALISM Expert, Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.