With the job market and general order of things in such flux, those on the prowl for a job must present themselves in the best way possible. A crucial part of that process is creating a dynamic picture of who you are, and what you can bring to a potential employer. Then, encapsulate all of that into a resume.
First, let’s tackle “a given” that is still worthy of a mention. Spelling errors and grammar faux pas will invalidate even the more carefully formatted resume.
As Steve Adcock reminds us, “Your resume should put your best foot forward. Your absolute best work. If you overlook spelling and grammar errors on something as important as a resume, then what assurance do they have that you’ll add value as an employee?”
Keep in mind these common mistakes that can interfere with a candidate’s chance at an interview.
1. The resume is too short or too long
Despite the time-honored and oft-quoted advice to limit a resume to one page, if your relevant work experience takes more than one page, use two. Never resort to narrow margins or tiny font to squeeze more information onto a single page.
Experts caution against a three-page resume, suggesting only those vying for C-level positions or tech professionals with an extensive skill set utilize a third page. The key is to include the most relevant information to this specific opportunity.
If your pertinent info struggles to fill one page, as might be the case for a recent student, flesh it out with extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, and community involvement, as these endeavors highlight character traits such as ambition and dedication to a cause.
- It lists duties rather than accomplishments
The once common-place practice of listing past job responsibilities is out, replaced by performance-related information and specific accomplishments. This change-up makes sense as a mere list of duties does not speak to a candidate’s ability level. A prospective employer needs to see evidence that you can perform in specific situations and exude a positive impact.
- A one-size-fits-all approach
The team at Resume Perks warns against creating a generic resume. “Ten customized resumes will bring you better results than a hundred generic, non-tailored applications. You don’t have to write a new resume every time but making a few changes to highlight the skills and qualifications the employer looks for and insert relevant keywords is a must.”
Most recruiters can spot a mass-produced resume in mere seconds. So, give yourself the best possible shot with a resume customized to each specific job opportunity.
- Poorly organized and formatted
For readability and ease in scanning—
- Choose white paper and black ink
- Do not include boxes or borders
- Use bullet points rather than numbers or letters
Dustin McKissen, career expert and founder of McKissen + Company, suggests, “Make your resume easy to read and follow by balancing white spaces and using underlining, italics, bold and capitalization for emphasis.”
As one of the top staffing agencies in Connecticut, A.R. Mazzotta’s focus is to help you reach your employment goals. For more than 50 years, our philosophy has been to listen to you first, then find the job that is exactly right for you. We will take the time to get to know you and your goals – it’s the only way we do business. Connect with our team via telephone, text, or apply online.