Job searching is no easy task, whether you’re just starting out or established in your career. One way to reduce job-search stress is to focus on the most important aspect that you can control- your resume. A resume is the heartbeat of your career search. If done well, your resume can tell a perfect story of you as a professional.
It’s easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once it’s seen by the employer. You may be perfect for the job, but if your resume has just one typo, if it’s formatted poorly, or you use the wrong font, it could easily end up in the “no” pile. Let’s take a look at some common mistakes job seekers make and improve the quality of your resume!
Typos and Grammatical Errors
The first and foremost mistake is your spelling and grammar errors. Spelling and grammar mistakes might seem like minor issues, but they’re a red flag to hiring managers. This kind of mistakes indicates a lack of attention to detail and a failure to invest in top-quality work. For employers, there is no excuse for sloppiness, misuse of words, and incorrect spelling or punctuation.
Using your computer’s spell check isn’t enough to ensure everything is correct. Therefore, after you finish a resume, sleep on it and take your mind off it. Then proofread and double check your resume with a refreshed perspective to make sure you didn’t make any silly mistakes.
Highlighting Responsibilities Instead of Achievements
It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done but what you’ve accomplished in your previous positions.
Think about what you accomplished in each role, and how your daily responsibilities helped your previous company (saved money, boosted efficiency, solved a problem, improved customer acquisition or retention?) If you want your resume to stand out, you need to go beyond listing tasks and start highlighting the achievements that prove you’re a valuable employee.
Not Customizing Your Resume
When you apply to multiple jobs, it’s tempting to use a generic pre-written resume template and mass-blast it to all the places you’re applying to. This strategy may seem time-efficient, but it may also prevent your resume from standing out amongst competitors.
This may come as a surprise to some job seekers, but your resume is not one-size-fits-all. One of the best ways to make your resume stand out is by tailoring it to fit the job you’re looking to land. This gives you a big edge over applicants who are sending out a generic resume to hundreds of employers. Instead of sending out a generic resume to multiple employers, the more effective option is to work on one application at a time, tailoring your resume to fit the job description, and taking the time to truly understand what each employer is looking for.
Not Including Job Posting Keywords
Most resumes are reviewed electronically by scanning mechanisms, and if your resume doesn’t have the keywords specified in the job description, it will likely be overlooked by the software. The first round of screening happens through keyword spotting in recruiting software. If you don’t include certain keywords, especially the ones appeared in the job posting, in your resume, it may not make it past the first round of screening.
The keywords can be found in the job description. They’re often repeated occasionally in multiple job responsibilities and you should be able to recognize their value in your industry. Make sure you include these exact keywords in your resume.
If your resume is a wall of text featuring several different fonts, it makes it difficult for anyone to skim through. Hiring managers need to view hundreds of resumes every day, do you think they will spend time reading the ones that give them headaches?
Poor formatting such as inconsistent fonts, spacing, convey a lack of attention to detail while unusual (too large or too small) fonts can annoy the reader. In addition, the way you save your resume can affect its readability. If you’re submitting it as an email attachment, make sure it’s saved as a PDF so the formatting isn’t lost when it’s opened.
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