Have you been on the job hunt diligently writing cover letters and submitting your resumes online and in person without any luck? Let’s get back to the basics of resume building and see if we can correct common resume mistakes you didn’t realise you were making.
Having too many pages on your resume
How long should your resume be? This is an age-old debate, but our sources say the ideal resume should be one page. If you must break away from the one-page rule, do so with good reason.
Does all the work experience listed on your resume highlight the skills needed to be successful in the position you’re applying for? Employers probably don’t need to know what you were doing 10 years ago. Thanks to technology, the simplest way to fill in the gaps is to include your Linkedin URL that can easily be searched (linkedin.com/yourname) or hyperlinked if submitted as a PDF. Keeping your resume short and sweet makes your resume more digestible and will be easier to highlight the important aspects.
One size fits all
Not tailoring your resume for the job you’re applying for makes you seem like you’re blindly applying for any and every job that you come across. Your resume should be crafted to suit the job you’re applying for. Don’t be intimidated, it really doesn’t take much extra time and it’s a step that can make all the difference in helping you land that interview- so don’t skip it!
Use keywords from the position description, and make sure your skill-set and experience are relevant to the job you’re applying to. This shows the recruiter that you have read the job description, and you’re not wasting their time.
Writing a bad objective
Objectives are not a resume requirement, but if you’re going to write an objective, write a damn good one. Don’t waste precious page space with “seeking a challenging position that offers growth…”This tells the employer nothing about what you can bring to the company.
Instead, write a positioning statement that clearly and concisely depicts why you are suited for the position. Think of it as your LinkedIn Tag-line. “12 years recruitment experience in business support and executive level recruitment” is much more appealing than the previous statement.
Using subjective traits
Almost as cringy as a poorly written objective statement is dropping subjective traits throughout your resume. Excellent written and oral communication skills? Team player? Organised? Hard worker? Good for you! Everyone thinks they are too.
Simply get rid of these cliches and overused buzzwords on your resume. If you are a team-player with excellent communication skills, prove it. Employers are interested in concrete evidence. What have you achieved in your previous roles that demonstrated your skills and work ethic?
Were you part of any work committees, volunteered at events, lead a project, or implemented a new procedure?
Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments
From your job title, a recruiter has a pretty good idea of what your day-to-day tasks entail, so rather than describing your duties, highlight your accomplishments. Opt for polished bullet points, not paragraphs.
You only have a small amount of real estate on the page and a limited time to convince the recruiter to call you, so make each point count.
Poor resume design
There’s nothing wrong with sprucing up your resume with different formats and fonts, but don’t go overboard! A resume that looks too busy is more offensive as a plain jane-Times New Roman-Microsoft Word doc.
If you’re going to design your own resume, stick to two complimenting fonts and two-three harmonious colours. Don’t overcrowd your resume with too much information so mind your white spaces. White spaces help the eyes flow through the resume with ease and will present a neater page.
Do NOT send your resume as a Microsoft Word document, unless requested. Every computer is different, and while it might look great on your screen, it might format horribly on someone else’s computer. Play it safe, and save your resume as a PDF.