Seeking out a job is stressful, and we rarely come across an offer that seems like a great fit. So, the very process of writing a job application feels like it will make or break your future.
After all, it needs to fit the specific role you’re applying for. It takes time, effort, and customization.
Now, making mistakes in your resume is a natural thing that can occur, but it makes for a wasted job opportunity. The chances are that your resume is chock full of problems that turn away your prospective employer.
You may feel like this is too dramatic but think about it. It’s easy to avoid common pitfalls, thus maximizing the potential of every future application. If you don’t know where to start, take these five points.
Most employers will stop reading your resume if they run into typos, grammar errors, and misspelt words. This rule stands even if you’re not applying for a position that includes writing!
Besides, show how detail-oriented you are by creating a consistent, easy on the eye resume. Aim for same-sized bullets, and stay on track with punctuations.
Finally, compress your document as a PDF. Not doing so is a massive pet peeve of employers.
Stick to the Prescribed Formatting
The general format for resumes may seem too dull, but it’s prescribed for a reason. Don’t overmanipulate yours.
Company executives want to see a bulleted itemization of responsibilities you had at your previous positions. They don’t want to see various fonts, graphics, and headshots.
They also want to gauge your career chronologically, so don’t be too creative and base it on skills – that’s on them. Even if you don’t have too much experience in a field, don’t try to hide it by overemphasizing your skills.
Skip Personal Info
It’s important to list some personal information on your resume. This info is limited to business email and phone numbers, though.
Avoid listing factors such as gender, race, religion, and similar features. It may lead to discrimination before you even enter the interview room, and even if it doesn’t, there will be plenty of time to share those.
If you feel like adding more, moderation is key. For example, include the city and state where you live, but not your street address.
Moreover, make sure that your email is professional. Create a separate address for business purposes and choose a name that sounds suitable enough.
When it comes to your taxes, you will only need to supply this once you’re hired for the position. However, your employer may ask it soon enough. So, if you missed tax returns or made mistakes, apply for Voluntary Disclosure as quickly as possible.
Demonstrate Your Value
Avoid bland, cliched job descriptions. They eat space while not making you any more likely to get the job.
One of the best ways to do this is to show your previous achievements, ideally with numbers. Tell your prospective company how you contributed to a store’s turnover, how many meetings you led, and how many bosses you assisted. Figures are effective.
Cut out the boring parts of your work history and, instead, try to illustrate the reasons YOU are the IDEAL person for the company.
Plus, if you feel that some of your experiences are bland, and you don’t have the angle to make them seem exciting, praise the company. It makes the fact you worked there more impactful.
Don’t Assume too Much
In other words, don’t tell your employer how their company fits ideally in your career goals. Focus on what you can do for them. The emphasis of the entire resume needs to be on the needs of the company, not those of your own.
Don’t include a career objective in the picture. That way, you may pigeonhole yourself. So, if the position doesn’t fit 100% in your ideal job idea, the employer will assume they shouldn’t bother giving you a call. In turn, this significantly limits your opportunities.
Pay attention to showing what you can bring to the table, and let the company decide where to put you. Not only will your scope be more comprehensive, but you’ll seem like a person with whom it’s more comfortable to cooperate.
The Bottom Line
Your resume isn’t a list of finished tasks. Think of it as a sales sheet that markets you and emphasizes your strengths. The managers who will interview you want to see what you accomplished, not what you ticked off the to-do list.
Finally, think of the resume as an opportunity to impress and create a first impression that will stick with the company. It will change how you view putting it together.