Aaagh I’ve been looking at a lot of resumes again lately, for a wide variety of roles. Some are entry level/unskilled worker roles and others are top level management, and then there are your standard individual contributor roles.
There are still so many dodgy resumes I am seeing! I haven’t sold enough copies of my book – I’m currently on the hunt for a new publisher so I need to expedite that process because awesome people are missing out on jobs because of the way they present on paper.
Here are the top 5 common mistakes I encounter:
1. Too many or too few details
All you need is your name, your email address and a contact number. Include your LinkedIn profile link if you like. That’s it.
DOB and home address are not required, EVER. There are valid reasons for this – identity theft and age discrimination. Take them off. Now.
I actually came across a resume recently that didn’t have a contact number. They were an internal referral so I chased it down but that’s really not a recruiter’s job.
2. Extra blank page – not required
Gotta love getting to the bottom of a resume and having a totally blank page. Not! This is just poor attention to detail. Check where your text ends, and make sure you delete that baby out.
3. No headline
All good resumes should start with a compelling short paragraph that grabs the readers’ attention quickly and effectively. This should be edited for each role so that you stand out based on what they’re looking for.
4. Too long – listing all experience isn’t necessary
I’ve received resumes up to 18 pages long. This is too long. If you have lots of experience, only go back 10 years. Max. Finish with “more information available upon request.” If you have more info on your LinkedIn profile, they can go there to check it out. Keep your resume to 2-5 pages.
5. Poor formatting – multiple fonts poorly laid out
My recommendation is to pick Arial or Arial Narrow and stick with it. It’s offputting to see different fonts, it’s unprofessional, and it demonstrates poor attention to detail.
What you can do
The first half of my book 101 HR Hot Tips: Handy Secrets for Success in the Workplace is dedicated to making sure your application stands out. The resume and cover letter are first impressions – make them awesome.
Follow the steps included to a tee. Then, get someone you trust to check your resume before you send it off, or reach out to me directly for a free consult.