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Avoiding Resume Mistakes

Making your resume appealing to employers

After working long and hard creating the perfect resume, the final step in making sure that it is ready to send to potential employers is running a spell-check. After that, it’s time to send your resume all over in hopes that it might stick somewhere.

All too often, however, job seekers fail to go over their resume with a fine-tooth comb. While a misspelled word is taboo, it is hardly the only thing that can doom a resume to the bottom of an employer’s trashcan.

Avoiding these common mistakes can send your resume to the top of the job candidate list:

Grammatical errors and misspellings – While running spell-check is a good start, it isn’t the only way to ensure that your resume is mistake-free. Spell-check will often not catch improper word choices (“weigh” vs. “way,” “write” vs. “right,” etc.). It is also a good idea to let someone else read your resume to give you an extra set of eyes.

Focusing on job functions instead of achievements – Many job applicants simply list what they did at previous jobs instead of telling a prospective employer exactly how they helped the organization. An example is listing that you “Prepared weekly sales meeting reports.” That could be written more effectively as, “Used Microsoft Excel, Word and other Office programs to compile, organize and produce weekly sales meeting reports to increase company profits.”

Leaving out details – Your past jobs may not have been interesting to you, but to a potential employer they paint a picture of you and your skills. Leaving out key details about your job description on a resume can cause a person reading it to wonder. Make sure you give descriptive details about your past positions and what you did at each company.

Using a generic resume template – Hats with elastic bands may be “one size fits all,” but resumes are not. Your resume should reflect your achievements and personality. Copying someone else’s resume and inserting your information will more than likely not achieve your job placement goals.

Contact information that is incorrect – References are often an afterthought on a resume. Before an employer makes the final decision on a hire, he or she will check professional references. That is why it is essential that your contact information is accurate. Sometimes references will move or change jobs. Make sure you verify the contact information with each of your references.