7 Avoidable Resume Mistakes

As the ripples of the economic downturn are felt further and wider, more and more people are brushing up their resumes.  However, resume-writing isn’t what it once was, and there are common mistakes that people make, even when they’re being careful and conscientious.  In a time when good jobs have hundreds of applicants, it’s important that you don’t give a potential employer any reason to dismiss your resume.

With that in mind, here are seven common mistakes that you can easily avoid on your resume.

1. Including an objective

Some of us were taught, way back when, to write our employment objective clearly across the top of the page.  (“Objective: To secure a job in management with lots of benefits and golfing time.”) This is no longer recommended for two reasons: one, nobody cares what your goals are.  Sorry.  Hirers care what the company’s goals are, and how you fit into them.  And two, your objective is obvious by fact that you submitted a resume for a certain position.  Presumably, your objective is to get hired for that job.

2. Writing in paragraphs

Resumes should be easy to glance over and get the gist of the information.  That means bullet points.  Nobody will bother to read your well-crafted essay about yourself.  List your experience, list your accomplishments, and stop.

3. Standing out through anything but accomplishments

Your education, work experience, and accomplishments are what will sell you, not your fonts, graphics, or colorful paper.  Putting stickers, glitter, or charts in your resume only makes you look juvenile and unprofessional.

4. Including irrelevant information

Managers are busy people and are seeking someone who will make their life easier, not harder.  Including information about your hobbies, family, or personal beliefs, when it has nothing to do with the job you’re seeking, just wastes their time, and won’t get you that all-important interview.  Stay focused on the job.

5. Careless presentation

Spelling and grammar count.  Learn what the red and green squiggles under certain words mean.  A resume should be neat, carefully formatted, and have nothing-including errors-that could distract from the presentation of your skills and experience.

6. Applying for jobs that you’re not qualified for

This can be a judgment call, but some people think that sending a resume to every job opening they come across will eventually land them a job.  What it will do is to waste employers’ time sorting through resumes they can’t possibly use.  Your qualifications in another area won’t impress a boss if they don’t apply to the job at hand.

7. Making employers guess how you can benefit their company or client

An employer needs to look at your resume and know what you have to offer the company-it should be clear fast.  Don’t make them search, connect dots, or make inferences.  Make it clear.

In a competitive economy, job seekers need every advantage they can get. One of the most important advantages is presenting a resume free of errors or mistakes that detract from your accomplishments.  Avoiding these 7 mistakes will help you get the attention of hiring managers everywhere.

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