Your resume speaks volumes about your skills as well as your personality, and it is often the first point of contact with a potential employer. You have to ensure that you make the right impression so that you can move on to the next step, because an unimpressive resume full of mistakes can end your hopes of landing your dream position.

Most job seekers fail to understand the significance of the resume, and thus, building a great resume will give you an edge over the competition. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes when you are drafting your resume.

Visually Unappealing Format

Before you send out your resume, run it by a couple of friends/family to find out how appealing it is visually. You can’t show a prospective employer an unorganized wall of text written in different fonts.

Your resume needs to be visually appealing for an employer to even consider spending time reading it.

Keyword Stuffing

One of the most common mistakes made by online applicants is stuffing as many keywords as possible into their resumes. Sure, your resume will get past the initial computer screening, but you should remember that there is still a human recruiter who will read your resume before giving approval.

If you have crammed your resume with keywords, make sure they are in context and provide a coherent picture of your skills. A resume that merely stuffs in a bunch of keywords with no clear purpose or overall objective is very likely to be rejected.

Typos and Grammatical Errors

Half of all resumes sent in by applicants are rejected simply because they never bothered to proofread.

Before sending in your resume, proofread at least twice to ensure that it is free of grammatical errors and typos. A resume full of mistakes indicates to an employer that you lack attention to detail, and shows that you can be quite shabby with your work – not something you want a prospective manager to know.

Too Much Ambiguity

When you are highlighting your occupations and accomplishments, be sure to provide specifics regarding your work. If you say something like, ‘Worked in a restaurant setting’, there is not much an employer can glean from this information.

Instead, if you say, ‘Hired and trained 20 employees in a restaurant that generated more than $1 million in annual sales’, this is sure to grab the employer’s attention. Both statements may be addressing the same thing, but the first is too vague while the latter is more specific about what you did and how you made an impact.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach

When you’re applying for more than one job, it is important that you draft a different resume for each position. Each resume must be tailored to the job you’re applying for, and should highlight skills that would be required for that particular organization.

By drafting a single resume and handing it out to different employers, you risk leaving out specific information and details that could be relevant to a particular employer, costing you a chance at the job.

Duties Instead of Accomplishments

If you have already mentioned your role at a previous company, your employer will have an understanding of the duties involved. If you were a Sales Manager, you don’t have to say something like, ‘supervised the sales team’, or ‘selecting and defining sales targets’.

Instead, highlight a few of your accomplishments. For example:

  • Hired and trained a sales team that improved company revenue by 15% in one year
  • Devised a strategy that managed to exceed the sales targets set for the company

Impersonal Resumes

The biggest problem employers have is that all the resumes they read through seem to contain the same information in similar formats. Few resumes actually stand out from the rest, so if yours stands out, you’re already a step ahead of the competition.

Take some time to draft your resume, and make it as personal as possible. The employer should be able to clearly distinguish your resume from the rest and know what makes you a unique candidate.

These are a few tips to help you on the way to better resume writing. Follow these guidelines, and your resume will definitely grab the attention of potential employers.

Remember, companies are screening thousands of resumes in a single day, so if you make yours easier to understand, they will be more likely to view you favorably in the hiring process.

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