7 Silly Mistakes to Avoid on Your Resume
A friend sent me an email requesting me to help her out in finding a job, her unit got wrapped due to a merger and the role was eliminated.
She needed help to land another job; I shared her resume to friends in my network who were in that geography and domain plus in a position to help.
A few weeks later one of the friends got back to her saying that their HR was trying to get in touch with her for a suitable position but could not contact since emails to her were bouncing.
Then my friend realized her mistake that the email id mentioned in the resume had some extra characters and it was such a blunder for her not to do a check before sending.
She might have lost few possible great opportunities already due to this mistake.
That made me think with about 15+ years of industry experience how can professionals make such obvious silly mistakes.
The resume/CV reaches the recruiter or the employer before you meet them. So this is the first chance you got to impress them. So the better written is your resume, the better the chances of getting selected and the higher is your chances of you grabbing the job that you always dreamt of.
Here are few silly mistakes one must avoid in the resume -
1. Incorrect contact info –
If you want a job this is the first thing that you have to avoid.
Keep your contact info updated with the following basic information:
• Email id (Must)
• Contact number (Must )
• Address (Must)
• Available hours to take calls (Must)
• Preferred domain (Suggested)
• The preferred location of work (Suggested)
• Availability info (Immediate or on notice period, on a job with 1-month notice) (Suggested)
• Visa status (Suggested)
If you have multiple email id or contact number it’s better to separate the personal and official details. Be available on the contact info shared on the resume to be contacted.
2. Not running a spell or grammar check
Yes, it sounds too obvious that the resume should have been spell and grammar checked else it shows poorly on you. It shows either you don’t care to review and correct the mistakes highlighted by the spell checker, or you don’t have the basic grammar and spelling knowledge or you are not aware of the spell checker in a word processing program.
In any case, it shows extremely poor on the profile of the applicant.
3. Poorly formatted profile –
Like I said, in the beginning, your resume is your gate pass to the organization or for the job. And the recruiter is your first approver in this process. Hence it should be in the best of your interest to make the process easy for the recruiter. The resume should be written in a way to grab the attention of the recruiter and make him/her interested in your profile. Format your profile in a manner which makes it easier for the person to read/scan through. Highlight your profile with your skills, strengths, interests and other relevant/important information. Writing the resume like a story or essay in paragraphs makes it difficult for the person to look for key information.
Use bullets, tables, numbered lists in your resume.
A visual resume is another great way to grab the attention of the recruiter and set you apart from the crowd.
4. Old and outdated Profile
This is going to be one of the biggest deterrents in keeping the jobs relevant to your profile flowing to you.
Many times I come across professionals sending the profile which doesn’t reflect their most recent job or role.
Not keeping the job profile updated reduces your chances of getting a job of your choice by 50%. It also significantly lowers your chances of getting the job with an appropriate compensation or in a respected organization.
Hence to bag a job with the right profile, with a compensation that you deserve in an organization of repute, it’s extremely important to keep the job profile updated with the below basic details:
• Current organization
• Current role
• Tasks and responsibilities handled
• Details of the projects you have worked on and its objectives
• Your role in the project and how did it contribute to the project and to the end users
• Any achievements/accomplishments – like revenue improvement, cost reduction, sales improvement, setting up a new process which benefited the organization, exceeding target and customer delight etc.
5. Not keeping your Linkedin profile updated –
You may like or may not like social media but Linkedin has come up as the most preferred professional networking site. Recruiters and employers use this professional networking site extensively to search and shortlist profiles for their requirements. Hence it’s a strong recommendation to keep your profile updated on Linkedin.
In fact below are few suggestions to enhance the strength of your profile on Linkedin:
• Highlight your strengths and accomplishments
• Having recommendations on your profile from your colleagues, manager or client helps strengthens your profile
• Follow influencers in your area of interest or domain
• Follow companies which you admire or which is in your wish list to join
• Needless to say, keep your contact info updated.
6. Not showing your areas of strength and accomplishments
This is one of the common mistakes many professionals do; they would go about describing their day to day responsibilities like
• I was responsible for the weekly project status meeting
• Status Reporting of the project to the client
• Worked with developers for the execution of the projects
• Updating client records
This doesn’t prove or showcase any of your strengths or accomplishments.
Rather go about giving a brief of the project that you worked on, what problem the project tried to solve or what benefits were the project bringing along or what solution/innovation/new product was the project intended to achieve.
Then describe your role in the project, how did you add value to the project, how did it benefit the customer/end users or the project or to your organization.
Highlight any accomplishments, accolades, customer appreciation, awards or significant achievements and voluntary work/assignment for social cause
It can be something like:
• Consistently achieved my sales targets
• Achieved a 10% improvement in bottom line by the internal resources utilization project in my leadership
• Developed an Insurance testing framework for the Insurance COE which has been successfully implemented in the organization for all Insurance projects
• Include any voluntary work or any assignment for any social cause or any other activity that you may have taken up
7. Not including the important keywords in your resume
All the job search sites use keywords for the search and if they don’t appear in your resume, which means it’s not going to come up in the search. Include all the related keywords to your resume that appears in the job listing/job profile/Job description.
There are many best practices in writing resumes as well. Make sure to avoid the above mistakes and put in your best effort to prepare your resume to the best of your ability and then take the review help from an experienced professional in the industry or domain that you are in.
Utilize online resources like resume builder or resume editor to put up a great resume.
Hope these tips help you in putting up a great resume and ultimately land you in a role that you aspired for.