I know exactly what you are thinking. “Destroy” is a very strong word to use when talking about something like resume mistakes. Well, you are right. But that doesn’t make it any less accurate. In today’s job market, making just one error on your resume could very easily ruin your chances at a job that you may actually be a great candidate for.
With the amount of time you could spend looking for the right jobs to apply for, avoiding the following common mistakes is vital.
1. A Confusing or Ugly Format.
So you’re thinking to yourself, “It’s not the presentation that matters. It’s the content, right?” While the logical answer to that questions might be “yes,” the real world answer is “no.” It may strike you as strange, but a visually appealing resume format can often be the thing that gets your resume read in the first place. Think about it like this: if you had a huge stack of resumes on your desk, would you be more likely to pick up the easy-to-read, well-formatted one, or the confusing one? Exactly! A good rule to work by is to create your resume in sections, keeping the information clean and organized. No confusing formats, no fancy borders, no fonts below 10 point. Just keep it simple!
2. Grammatical Errors and Typos.
Nothing will destroy your chances at an interview faster than a typo or grammatical error on your resume or cover letter. Most hiring managers will stop reading as soon as they reach one of these ugly little mistakes. Not only does it show your lack of written communication skills, it also tells them that you don’t really care about the job. So before sending in that job application, make sure to have a couple people proofread your resume for mistakes.
3. An Unprofessional Email Address.
Paintballer23@gmail.com. HottieAnne143@aol.com. HeatFan3@yahoo.com. These may be fine when you’re shooting emails back and forth with friends and family, but using them as your contact information on a resume is an easily avoidable mistake that many people make when applying for a job. Email addresses like these will make you look immature, which is the last thing you want to be associated with when you are applying for a job. So before sending out your resume, create a new, professional looking email address that contains just your first and last name.
4. Too Many Duties. Not Enough Accomplishments.
Don’t fall into the common resume trap of spending too much space listing job duties and not enough space describing accomplishments. Of course it’s nice to tell possible employers that you can manage the office. But it’s even better to show them how your office management skills led to increased departmental efficiency that saved the company money. Or maybe you’re a salesman with experience managing territories. Great! But if you can show statistics that prove how much you increased revenue in your territory since taking it over, that might just blow a hiring manager away.
5. Droning On and On.
There are many different opinions when it comes to resume length. Some say it should never be longer than a single page. Some say more pages are fine, as long as they are necessary to accurately show all of your skills. From my experience, resumes should be one clean page. The major exception to this rule is if you are an extremely experienced applicant applying for an executive job. But don’t worry. In almost all circumstances, you can get all of your necessary information across in one page. Just remember, your resume exists to get you interviews, not tell your whole life story.
Ian Matthew is a professional resume writer at Money Resumes, a cutting-edge resume writing service that specializes in creating custom documents that lead to more job interviews for their clients. Their affordable services include: resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, LinkedIn profiles, resume distribution, and more.