With so many opinions regarding a resume makeover, it can be tough to know where to start. You can find 100 articles online about resumes, all telling you to do completely different things. So how do you know who is right and who is wrong?
I have always been told, “listen to those who have fruit on the tree”. Everyone has an opinion, but how many have put their opinion into action and seen great results because of it? So many writers/bloggers have never spent a day as a recruiter or hiring manager. So how would they know what to include in a resume?
In this article, the experts at Find My Profession will break down 7 simple mistakes to avoid during a resume makeover.
1. Using an objective
Just about every resume expert agrees that you should replace an objective with a professional summary. The truth is, most employers only care about what you can do for them. Stating your personal goals and what YOU expect to get out of a position is frankly, pointless.
Replacing an objective with a professional summary is an essential part of a resume makeover. This will help you express your applicable skills to the hiring manager with 3 to 4 solid sentences. This is important because the employer briefly scans your resume with an emphasis on your summary and skills sections. To learn how to structure a professional summary, see our article How To Write A Great Resume Summary Statement.
2. Irrelevant job experience and resume
Your career is a very personal and hopefully rewarding journey! It is easy to throw ALL of your accomplishments on your resume because of pride. If some of those accomplishments do not align with the position you are applying for, you should remove them. This may be tough, but you need to use your resume real estate effectively.
Regarding past work experience, don’t include more than 15 years of work history. This is a standard rule of thumb to go by. This should go without saying, but include only relevant experience. Also, avoid excessive bullet points for each position you list on your resume. Stick to 4-6 strategic points that express the required skills for the position you are applying for.
Need help on your work experience section? See 4 Tips To Write Your Resume Work Experience Section!
3. Adding personal information
I stated above that creating a resume (and the whole job searching process) is very personal. That does not mean that you should detail every aspect of your life. Again, if it does not relate to the open position, leave it out. This would include your hobbies, religion, and even your home life.
Of course, these are great things that make you the person you are, but keep it professional. You can also consider your salary history as personal information that you should not include.
Volunteer experience is different than your personal life and can look great on a resume. This is especially applicable to those who do not have as much relevant work experience.
4. Ridiculous fonts and styles
Unless you are applying for a design type position, don’t try and get fancy! You will not impress the employer with your ability to choose a cool font or color. They are looking for what you can bring to the table and a certain font will not show that.
Make sure you do not throw any header, footer, or tables in the mix. Your resume will most likely be read by a robot first… Annoying, I know! The Applicant Tracking System can be thrown off by tables or headers. This would mean your resume is thrown away before a human can even review it. Using resume makeover services can eliminate that from happening.
Maybe you don’t agree with this, so let me provide some additional logic. Each employer spends an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume. Using an uncommon font/color can be a distraction for the employer causing them to read less in that 6 seconds then they would with a common font/color. Your goal is to make it easy for the employer to scan your resume. That way, they can quickly find whatever it is they are looking for.
Learn more here with Professional Resume Style - Headers, Fonts, & Themes
5. References and sloppy contact info
Many people are told that references are important to include on your resume. I am here to assure you that this is a huge resume mistake. If you are asked to provide references either by a person or on your job application, then provide them.
But leave them off your resume! I have personally worked at a staffing agency that would ask their recruiters to prowl job boards in search of references. Once we found references, we would call the hiring managers listed and try to solicit new business with them. Do your references a favor and leave them off your resume!
Please make sure you have a professional email when you add your contact info to your resume. Creating a resume is pointless if you have an email like firstname.lastname@example.org! While you’re at it, you can leave off your exact mailing address. City, State, and Street are fine, but it is not like the employer will send you a handwritten letter. Anybody has access to resumes on public job boards. If the application asks for your exact address, that’s fine! Do yourself a favor and keep the address off your resume!
6. Exorbitant words
Huh? That’s what I thought… Make sure that your resume is readable by the average Joe. You may be highly knowledgeable in your trade, but the recruiter may not have the same experience. Also, don’t try to make yourself sound smarter than you are. This can come back to bite you if you are called in for an interview.
Make sure you spell out abbreviations such as B.S. (Bachelor of Science), or CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Administrator). This will be highly beneficial for two reasons.
- It helps the average recruiter know what you are talking about.
- It will help you get through applicant tracking systems by using all the right keywords.
Speaking of keywords, check out How To Use Resume Keywords When Applying For Jobs.
7. Cut out that second page
Unless you are applying for a senior/executive position, keep your resume to one page. This is a huge resume mistake that is often overlooked. Because you only have 6 seconds, hiring managers don’t have time to read multiple pages. If you are having trouble trimming your resume down to one page, it might be time for a professional resume makeover.Your job search will be much more effective with a purposeful and concise resume tailored towards your desired job.
Not sure if you need a professional resume makeover? Find out by reading the 5 Major Signs It’s Time For A Professional Resume Makeover.
What do I put on my resume?
Luckily for you, we wrote a whole article on the essentials to include during your resume makeover. See this article here, What to Include In A Resume – 16 Best Things. I know this process can be frustrating, but keep your head up as it will be worth it! If you find this overwhelming, let the pros at Find My Profession help you out! We have a vast knowledge of resume standards and specialize in all industries across the United States.