Professional resume writers know to avoid the following four mistakes. Take a look through your resume now to see if you are guilty of:
- Misspellings and typos. It is not enough to use an automatic spell checker. You must print out your resume and proofread it word for word. Never trust online grammar checkers—they are all horrible. Check the dictionary if you are unsure about the proper use of words like its and it’s or effect and affect.
- Inconsistent information. If the information in your LinkedIn profile differs from the information in your resume or if your resume contradicts your cover letter, recruiters and hiring managers will suspect that you are either lying or careless. Make sure all the elements of your application present the same picture.
- Too much jargon and too few specifics. Avoid the temptation to write about “state-of-the-art software” or to a “proactive approach to customer satisfaction.” Automatic tracking systems don’t search on vague jargon like “state-of-the-art” or “proactive.” Those words are taking up valuable space you should use for specific facts: “Redesigned company website using Joomla” or “Increased customer satisfaction 57%.”
- Too much history. As I’ve stated before in this blog, your resume is not your life story. Focus your resume on the requirements for the job you want now and the information employers ask for in their ads. That first job you took right after college in 1989 probably has little bearing on your current skills; you moved on long ago.
If you are finding it hard to avoid errors, inconsistencies and jargon or if you are not sure what to leave in and what to take out, please contact me today. You will get some good ideas, too, from my talk on resume revamps at the the Women for Hire website.