While resume writing can be exciting when you are in search of a job or looking at a promotion or your next career move, there are certain pitfalls that you should be aware of. Here is a list of 10 such pitfalls in resume writing:
1. Too Long:
Most new graduated should restrict resumes to one page. If you have trouble condensing, get help from the Career, Transfer & Job Placement Center (CTJPC).
2. Typo, Graphical or Grammatical Errors:
These errors suggest carelessness. Have at least two others proofread your resume before submitting. Do not rely on spell or grammar checkers on your computer alone.
3. Hard to read:
A poorly typed or copied resume looks unprofessional. Use a plain font (Times Roman, Helvetica, etc.), and a point size no smaller that a 10 (11 in the body of your resume). Asterisks, bullets, underlining, bold and italics should only be used to make the document easier to read.
4. Too Verbose:
Using too many words to say too little. Do not use complete sentences or paragraphs. Say as much as possible with few words as possible (this is where the action words come in handy!). Be careful in your use of jargon and avoid slang.
5. Too Sparse:
Give more than the bare essentials, especially when describing related work experience, skills, accomplishments, activities and club memberships that will give employers desired information.
6. Irrelevant Information:
Customize each resume to each position you see (when possible). Of course, include all education and work experience, but emphasize only relevant experience, skills and accomplishments. Do not include: marital status, age, sex, children, height, church memberships, etc.
7. Obviously Generic:
Too many resumes scream “I need a job – any job”, The employer needs to feel that you are interested in that position with that company.
8. Too Snazzy:
Of course, use good quality paper, but avoid colored or pre decorated paper. Become familiar with converting your resume from word to pdf files, as companies are requesting resumes via email.
Make your resume as dynamic as possible. Begin every statement with an action verb. Use active verbs, describing what you accomplished on the job. Don’t write what someone else told you to do; write what you did. Take advantage of your rich vocabulary and avoid repeating words, especially the first word in a section.
10. Too Modest:
The resume showcases your qualifications in competition with the other applications. Put your best foot forward without misrepresentation, falsification or arrogance.
One more thing:
Your resume should never travel alone! When providing your information to a potential employer, you should be providing them with: Cover Letter, Resume and Reference Sheet. (In that order, paper clipped together).