Are you undermining your chances of landing an interview by letting simple, avoidable mistakes creep into your resume? You may think you’ve dotted every I and crossed every T, and you may think you’re ready to attach your resume to your cover letter and send it off. But before you do, take a second look. If you find any of these common problems, fix them before you move forward.
Most candidates save time during the job search by creating a template resume and customizing the template for each specific employer and each individual application. But this practice can easily lead to embarrassing errors. Check carefully to make sure each customized, job-specific detail has been fully updated between each submission and the next.
Most experienced job seekers know the feeling of sending off a resume, only to realize ten minutes later that they left out a key detail or accomplishment that could have tipped the scales in their favor. Be sure to keep your notes and records close while you work on your resume and cover letter. After a few years or decades in the workplace, even major accomplishments can sometimes slip through the cracks.
When you’ve been staring at the same page of written text for a long time, funny things start to happen. A messy sentence, a confusing phrase, or even an obvious typo can start to appear normal and correct. That’s how professional editors make a living; they spot the problems that writers can’t see. If you don’t have a professional editor in your circle of friends, do the next best thing: just show your resume to at least one or two other people who review it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Attempts to game the system
If you think you’ve found a clever way to tell the “truth” without actually telling the truth, think again. No matter what kind of trick you’ve stumbled upon, hiring managers have seen it before. So don’t look for ways to be sneaky. Include your actual employment dates and your actual GPA (if you choose), don’t round them up. Use language that’s clear and direct. Own your information. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and allow your profile to speak for itself.
Most resumes should fall between one full page and two full pages in length. If you can’t fill one page, try a little harder; share more detail and describe your accomplishments in greater depth. If you’re spilling over into multiple pages, edit and tighten until you bring your sprawling document under control.
For more on how to create an error free resume that can help you land the interview, turn to the Cleveland County job search experts at PSU.