Are you fresh out of college and looking for a job? Or are you worried about campus placements? Or even worse, are you unhappy at your current job and looking to quit? If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, the first thing you need to do is spruce up your resume.
To anyone reading it, a resume is a doorway to your life, and it takes only two minutes for them to judge you. So if it doesn’t pack the required punch and flavour, you might well miss out on your dream opportunity.
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While we try to beautify our resumes, we often overlook and ignore some important things. Such mistakes could be the reason why none of your potential employers are returning your calls. Here are a few common resume mistakes to avoid at any cost:
Before you save and print your resume, remember to run a spelling and grammar check on it. Mistakes could cost you a potential job. If your resume has glaring mistakes, it reflects on your carelessness and unprofessionalism. As a practice, always double-check and make sure that your resume is top notch. Don’t just rely on spelling and grammar because in case you write ‘sing’ as ‘sign’, the spell check does not pick it up. Hence, the second check should be done by reading it word by word. Finally, ask a friend, colleague or family member to check it for errors.
In a bid to put every little detail in your resume, do not clutter it by filling in too much information. Yes, we understand you want to keep your resume short, but you have a lot of information at hand, too. Cluttering is far from the right way to do it. Try leaving some white space on your resume. Keep points short. Do not be rigid about the length of your resume. If there are critical points spilling onto the next page, let them. A resume that is difficult to go through or too crammed to read would automatically be rejected.
There is a certain time in our life when certain things are important. With time, however, they become outdated and irrelevant. It’s important to check your resume for information that doesn’t add value to it. For example, having won an eating competition or a dance competition at school does not up your chances of getting a job.
Try to find a middle ground when it comes to the length of your resume. Do not miss out important details while keeping it short, but avoid adding unnecessary details and making it too long. Consult your friends, search online for the latest resume trends and choose the kind of resume you want.
While checking for grammar and spelling mistakes, you might overlook your contact information. Don’t make this mistake. Your contact information is how companies can reach out to you. If there is a minor error in your telephone number or email ID that goes unnoticed, calls or mails might be diverted to someone else out there. Make a new email ID if you have to—one that sounds crisp and professional.
Writing an objective is outdated. Almost half the crowd picks up their objective from some other resume. It is vague but sounds fancy. Most of them read: “to be part of a dynamic organisation that facilitates a growth in my career graph.” No employer will be impressed by such sentences. They don’t add value or make much sense. The space used for writing an objective can be replaced with more useful information.
Avoid sending out the same resume to all your potential employers. You need to stand out. Don’t be lazy. A cover note might be the thing coming in between you and your dream job. Writing a cover note is a way to express yourself and how you are different from the others vying for the same job. You could attach it as the first page of your CV, send it as a separate attachment or make it the body of your email. Writing a cover note not only emphasises on your experiences but also shows your willingness to work for the company.
Refrain from using one word repeatedly for lack of better words. Repeating words reflects poor language skills. Sometimes, we cannot think of alternatives and tend to do this. In this case, just rephrase the sentence. No one wants to see ‘special’, ‘awesome’, ‘amazing’ and other such words in a single resume. You could always convey the same information in fewer words.
When you list out your accomplishments, be specific. Say you want to convey that you worked on a project that brought big revenue to your company. Write it as: Worked on [project name] that garnered [amount] as revenue for the company. Being specific gives the employer an insight into your potential.
If you made your resume while you were in college and it still reads the same way, chances are that you will not be considered for most jobs. Before applying to a new place, update your resume. Add your recent job experience, your latest projects and the new skills you acquired through them. Make sure that you know your resume thoroughly so that when you are questioned, you have all the answers ready.
Yes, resume building is a lot of work. But think of it as an investment, because such seeds sown always bear sweet fruits. All it takes is some patience and hard work.