The company you want to work for is hiring and there’s an opening for which you’re perfect. You rush home to create your resume and, in all of the excitement, you made some errors that end up costing you an interview. Over the years I have seen a number of mistakes, here are the top four.
Grammar and Punctuation Errors
So many rely all too often on spellcheck to pick up spelling and punctuation errors. Although they are capable of doing a ton of heavy lifting, spellcheckers are not as capable as a thorough human eye. For example, “there”, “their” and “there” are all spelled correctly, however if you use the incorrect version for your particular sentence spellcheck will not catch this and you’re resume is left with an error that leaves the recruiter questioning your ability to pay attention to details. Also, make sure to look at the apostrophe and that they are in the correct place AND that one is actually needed. Finally, spellcheckers often recommend solutions that are not actually needed. While running a spellcheck is a great start, it is definitely not an end all.
Lack of Resume Keywords
This is so important and I can’t stress to you the importance of using keywords. As a recruiter, I can tell you that if the company doesn’t have an applicant tracking system that automatically screens candidates out for lack of matching keywords, then the recruiter will. A recruiter scans the resume for keywords matching the job description and honestly looks it over for about 10-20 seconds. If we don’t see the words we’re looking for, you will get tossed out of the process. Make sure to match your resumes skill set to the skills needed (assuming you do have that particular set) so you don’t get knocked out of the process.
Not a Job Description
Don’t make the mistake of writing a job-description-type resume. You should showcase your accomplishments as this gives the potential employer a better understanding of what you can do for their organization. They want to know that you have the talents that no other candidate can bring to the table-this will have them ‘knocking down your door’.
Keep it simple
I know you want to show off your design skills on your resume, but please keep things clean and simple. I have witnessed resumes with so many distracting designs that I had a hard time reading through the resume. There are three main types of resumes; the functional, the categorized and the hybrid. Try and use one of these formats and keep things well-organized and succinct. If the position calls for someone with the creative side I’m sure they will give you the opportunity to show your flare…but the resume isn’t that stage. As Walt Whitman said, “Simplicity is the glory of expression.”