Your résumé is quite possibly one of the most important documents saved on your computer.
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Why? Because a résumé is the key ingredient to helping land your dream job. With that said, here are some things to avoid when you're putting together a resume.
Missing the specifics
Don't leave an employer guessing! Your resume is supposed to indicate that you're a good fit for a position, so it must include any relevant information.
Briefly identify the overall function of your role before focusing on specific tasks and accomplishments that connect your skills to the job opportunity at hand. Avoid broad statements that don't communicate specific information.
Don't rely on a job title to catch an employer's eye. While previous experience in a similar role is an obvious asset, employee responsibilities can differ substantially between different workplaces.
Leaving out experience
If you're looking for a first professional role or are switching industries, you'll need to rely on a variety of work experiences to position yourself as a compelling new hire.
Don't assume that past work experience in a different field isn't relevant to a position in your industry of choice – if you have limited experience, you need to use every piece to your advantage.
Many skills from other jobs can be transferable! For example: customer service experience can be a great asset in many other career fields.
As you build your résumé, you won't need to use every piece of work experience you have when applying for a new job, but you'll still want to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.
A résuméshould never exceed two pages – and if it is kept to one page, that’s even better.
Résumés are meant to showcase your experience and accomplishments, and although many applicants can talk for days about their background and job experience, it is important to keep a résuméshort and to the point.
No one wants to read a novel about you, no matter how relevant your past experience may be.
Depending on the role you're applying for, you may want to use a completely different format for your resume, removing or including sections based on the information you want to present.
Mismatching an objective
Not all résumés include an objective. Make sure that you're only using one if it's a good fit for the opportunity that you're pursuing.
It's a common mistake to use the same objective for every application, or use one that is too broad. For example: "I am seeking full-time employment."
An objective should be highly engaged with the job you are applying for, and should change with every single job you submit your application to. Note that including an objective is an often-debated topic. If you are having trouble writing one, it’s safer to just not include one at all.
If you are applying for positions in marketing or graphic design, getting creative with your résuméis a great way to show off your skills.
For a more traditional role or in a conservative industry, it's best to stick to a crisp-professional layout.
You don't need exceptional design skills to compose a beautiful résumé. A quick search online can get started with some simple examples that will help you design your own from scratch.
A resume should be clean, eye-catching and easy to read. Do not over-complicate your application by getting too experimental with your design – but it's okay to have some fun with it.