Land your resumé at the top of the pile by avoiding these mistakes.
Whether you are looking for work by choice or by circumstance, you can enjoy the process of capturing your experience, purpose, education, and philanthropy that only you can provide. Set yourself apart by highlighting what is uniquely you in your resumé.
And as unemployment rises, it becomes even more critical to present your best self to make certain your resumé lands at the top of the prospective employer's pile.
So, regardless of your situation, avoid these missteps as you create a resumé!
Don't depend on a general resumé for all prospective employers
Be sure to customize your resumé for each prospective position. Highlight key accomplishments, experience, and education fitting the position you're seeking. It can be helpful to have the basic format, key points, and contact information within your resumé, but be sure to cater your objective towards the specific industry.
Don't overstate your experience
You want to look good and be the first choice for the position, but remember to be real, direct, and honest. Don't use excessive words to describe your past jobs or achievements. While matching the sophistication of your word choice to what is necessary for the position, you may find it's simpler to choose words like "use" rather than "utilize."
Don't focus on what you've done
Employers are looking for what you've achieved (not just done) and what positive results you'd bring to their company. Words like “managed” and “oversaw” are overused and lack value. What changes did you implement or successes did you achieve when you managed or oversaw certain projects? Use strong active verbs to communicate exemplary achievements.
Don't skimp on the editing and proofreading process
Take a break from your resumé and clear your mind. As you return, your eyes and mind can take a fresh approach to what you're wanting to communicate as well as catch typos and errors. Ask a friend or family member to read over your resumé to catch errors and provide input. Take one last look at the final resumé before you seal the envelope or click send in the email to be sure you're using the intended version.
Don't email your resumé in an editable format
Most word processing programs can save your resumé as a portable document format (pdf). Or Adobe offers a variety of options for creating and editing pdfs. If you choose to send your resumé in an editable format (for example, as a Word document), formatting can change based on the recipient's computer settings. What you created as a polished, visually pleasing masterpiece could open as a jumbled document of moved margins and copy. Ensure quality and clarity by capturing all formatting in a pdf format.
Don't skip over your volunteer experience
Whether you've coached your daughter's soccer team or ran a 5K to raise money for a great cause, include key experiences that display your interests and intentionality to impact your community. Volunteer experience can easily be applied to the professional world and gives a prospective employer a glimpse of what you would bring to their own social and global awareness initiatives.
Don't forget social media links
While you might want to leave off a link to SnapChat, be sure to include links to social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn. As a platform dedicated to professionals, LinkedIn provides a convenient place for prospective employers to review your past employment and recommendations left by co-workers. Facebook can also be helpful for a prospective employer to see a fuller picture of you including hobbies and interests when you're not at work. If you're running out of space to include social media links, consider cutting your physical address.