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Stop Making These Resume Mistakes

If you’ve been sending out an avalanche of resumes and you just aren’t getting the response rate you need, it may be time to return to your document and take another look with a fresh set of eyes. Even if you’ve edited every section multiple times, there’s a chance you may be committing one of these common mistakes. Reopen, review, revise, and try again.

Minimal Customization

Are you doing everything you can to tailor your resume for a specific audience? Don’t spend hours customizing your document for every opportunity that comes your way, but at the same time, you’ll want your resume to look like a targeted and specific message, not part of a spam campaign. Put brackets around three or four sentences and phrases, including your target job title, your target industry, and a phrase or two in your summary. Each time you submit to a potential employer, revisit each set of brackets and type in a title, industry, and area of focus that align with the wording in the job post.

A Lack of Keywords

Since most larger employers place resumes into a database immediately upon receipt, you’ll want your resume to find its way back out of that database and into the hands of a human reader during the review process. In order to increase your odds of being seen and read, make sure your resume contains some of the terms and words that will likely be typed into a search bar by managers and reviewers. Likely keywords include 1.) the exact job title 2). the geographic area or city where the job will be offered and 3.) a few of the most important skills and qualifications required by the employers and mentioned in the job description.

Seeming Conflicts

Your target employers want a full-time worker who will be willing to work off-shifts. Your last few positions were part time jobs, and a quick glance over your resume doesn’t reveal much evidence of working different shifts. If this results in a trip to the recycle bin, that may seem unfair. But during the early rounds of the review process, employers are heavily guided by impressions. So make sure a ten- second glance over your document suggests a candidate who aligns with the position in the broadest and simplest terms. For example, do you live in the area? If not, have you clearly expressed a willingness to relocate?

For more on how to avoid the kinds of simple errors that can allow your resume to slip through the cracks, turn to the job search pros at PSU.