Research has shown that over 200 resumes are sent on average to corporate job opening announcements. From that pile, only five or six people are chosen for an interview and only one person will get the job.
Becoming that one person who gets the job offer starts with having the perfect resume for the job in which you are applying.
According to recruiting sources, an interviewer will only spend about three minutes looking at your resume before deciding if they want to meet you. In that three minutes, there are resume mistakes that cause an employer to reject your resume.
Resume Mistakes to Avoid
Grammatical errors make reading a resume painful. Since resumes are not that long, there is no reason to have grammar problems. Avoid using texting language where you only spell part of the word or shorten a word. For example, it is not appropriate to write “ur” for “your”.
Furthermore, never use an emoji or clip art, or an email that has an inappropriate address.
If you are on social media such as Facebook or Instagram, and like to post inappropriate photos, delete them. Yes, they may be funny to your friends and family. But to an employer, not so much. And because 70 percent of employers are taking peeks at potential candidates social media pages, what you post could determine if you get the job.
Avoiding those resume mistakes is easy. Now you can focus on the right elements to add to your resume.
Correct Contact Information
No one can offer you a job if they do not have your correct address and phone number. Triple check that your contact information, placed at the top of your resume, is correct. Make sure your name is spelled correctly. Add your mailing address. This is where a recruiter can contact you in letter form via the postal system.
Make sure your email address is spelled correctly. One wrong letter will decline a message. Finally, make sure all the numbers you list in your phone number are correct.
Highlight Your Skills
This is your chance to show the interview committee how you are qualified for the position. Pick out keywords from the job announcement and list the skills you have that can meet their needs. If they are looking for someone who has computer skills, make a list of all the computer programs you can run.
Include skills with word documents, email, internet, spreadsheets, databases and any other computer program that may help in the position. This will also show them you can quickly learn and adapt to new systems.
List Previous Employment Experience
In this section of your resume, you can show recruiters all the work you have done in your past. It is important you list the company you worked for, the dates you were employed for them, and all job duties you were assigned within the scope of your job.
Use bullets to separate job duties, as this improves the appearance of your resume and makes it easy to read. This is also a great place to list rewards and accomplishments you received on the job.
Some of you applying for a job may be just out of high school and have not had the chance to build a lengthy work history. Others of you may have worked ten or more jobs before applying to this one. In either case, it’s important to list what you have acquired to date, from apprenticeships, internships and volunteer work.
Show How You Furthered Your Education
Education can mean any activity that provided you with additional knowledge in a specific area. Attending college and receiving a bachelor’s degree is one way you furthered your education. Taking a two-hour seminar during the summer break is also a way you enhanced your knowledge.
List every activity you have done to improve what you know. Make sure you list the title of the training you received, dates of the training, the location of the event, and what you received in the end (certificate, degree, etc.).
You will most likely be asked to submit transcripts or a copy of your certificate or diploma as part of your application. It’s important you keep good records of all activities showing you attended. You will also want to list any outstanding awards you received.
For instance, if you were valedictorian of your class, make sure you report that on your resume.
If there are achievements that do not fit into any previous section, create an “additional information” section to let the employer know what good things you have accomplished.
An example may be that in your spare time you like to play basketball and your team won the state championship. Or, you ride horses in competitions during the summer. Any extracurricular activities you participate in can be showcased here.
These show recruiters that you are well rounded and can succeed both at work, school and in recreation.
The Right References
Almost all companies ask for references, people they can communicate with to verify what your resume says. These are also people who can attest to your character, work ethic and abilities.
When choosing references, don’t just ask three friends. This is not acceptable, and you will likely be asked to add more references. Instead, choose at least one person who can talk about how you are as a student. Choose another who can talk about your work behaviors.
And finally, choose someone who can speak on your personal character. Do not use family or close friends. Teachers, coaches, former bosses and colleagues make great references.
A Few More Tips
Resumes are not designed to be novels. You do not want to tell so much about yourself that the interviewer feels they have received too much information. They do not need to know your favorite colors, habits or thoughts on what is wrong with society.
Keep your resume brief, no more than two pages, and include information that proves you are the best candidate for the job.