The biggest resume mistake:
- Sending the same resume for all applications.
- Having a resume with too much information, taking up more than two pages.
- Do not do this because:
Pattern your resume after specific needs written on the job ad.
- recruiters will not have time to read through your resume
- employers are looking for a specific set of skills
- it shows that you did not follow the job ad
What does “tailoring” your resume mean?
- Limiting information relevant to the job ad.
- Listing only the experience and skills related to the job you’re applying for.
- Emphasizing achievements, skills, and experience that make you a prime candidate for the position.
- Using specific keywords used by the prospective employer.
Review the Job Description
- Know the keywords from the job description in the ad.
Review your resume.
- Underline the job summary, requirements, and duties.
- List down the job title, and verbs.
Limit relevant job experience to the most recent (last 10 years).
- Choose the parts that fit the requirements.
- Emphasize these parts by placing them on the top two-thirds of the page.
Use powerful words and numbers
- Don’t use passive words when describing achievements or work experience.
- Don’t use: helped, handled, worked.
- Instead, use:
Clearly describe the impact of your past work.Mention specific figures when appropriate.Examples:
Avoid using overused adjectives like creative, excellent, motivated, and hard working.Don’t write: “References available upon request”.Don’t list your references on the resume.
- “Spearheaded a clean-up campaign boosting office efficiency by 25%”.
- “Launched a new insurance product that contributed $2M in sales.”
- Write their names on a separate sheet of paper.
- Provide the list only when the employer asks for them.
- Use a simple and easy to understand format.
- Don’t make a decorative resume (unless it is for a design position).
- Aim for a professional look.
- Save your file in accepted formats, for example docx or pdf.
Edit, proofread, then edit again
- Make sure that your resume is error-free and concise.
Ask someone else to proofread or do a final check if possible.Read: Tips when proofreading and editing your work for more tips.
- Check spelling and grammatical errors.
- Remove unnecessary words.
- Short sentences are easy to understand.
Article updated December 7, 2022.
Sources: Optimize your resume if you want to get the job, Peter Weddle, Career Cast.com; Tailor, tailor, tailor your resumes, Taunee Besson, Career Cast.com.
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