When it comes to making the perfect resume, there really is no “right” way to do it. However, there are certainly wrong steps a person can take while making the ideal resume. Here are ten items that just might be best saved for the interview.
1) Hobbies or Outside Interests
While an employer may be interested to hear about your passion for fishing, it has nothing to do with the job. Save the space, and only add an outside interest if it ties into a skill necessary or helpful to the position.
2) Personal Information
No, the employer is not interested in your height, weight, political stance, or your opinion on the Lebron vs MJ debate. An employer should not and in most cases will not base your interview or employment opportunity on any of these factors.
3) Misspellings and Errors
This should go without saying, but triple check your resume. There is almost no better guarantee of no future with the company of your dreams if the first thing the employer reads is that you misspelled simple words, or worse, your own name.
4) Career Objectives
This is one that is up for debate across the board. Some people are all in on letting an employer know where you want to be in ten years, but bottom line, shouldn’t the employer want you to be in their company for at least the next ten years. These objectives are often tricky to write, and with space on your resume being so valuable, something more helpful to you and the employer could take that space.
5) All of Your Previous Jobs
One of the most important parts of your resume is your previous work experience. Having two or three previous jobs in the field you are looking to work in can be so helpful, as it gives the employer a look into your real experience and shows real qualification to be in your field. Too often, people will make the mistake of putting jobs that have no relevance. No employer wants to see where you worked in high school, and sometimes employers will even disregard old jobs that have little to no relevance to where you are now. Save the space on your resume and keep it up to date and relevant.
6) Irrelevant Information
Employers sometimes spend just seconds looking at your resume. It is so crucial to block out any unnecessary information. Keep it related to the job. Use keywords from the job posting or from your specific field that will stand out to the employer. For example, if you only have enough room for one more “skill” in your resume, it can be difficult to choose which one is right. While on one hand, it would be great to put that you are proficient in Adobe Suite, if the job has nothing to do with that, it may not be necessary. Instead, find a skill that you have that is in the job posting and add it. It does not take away anything from your resume, and could even give you the upper hand in the application process.
7) Inappropriate Contact Information
For the most part, if an employer is interested they will contact you either by phone or by email. Do not use your old personal email account from when you were younger with the name [email protected]. Make sure you have an up to date, clean and professional email address. There are so many different sites that allow you to make free emails, it should not be hard to find one that works for you.
8) Font and Pictures
Yes, a crazy or different colored font will definitely make your resume stand out, but not in a good way. Employers and applicants both understand that it is by no means easy to make yourself stand out. That in no way means that changing to a wacky font or adding photos on your resume is helpful. It usually means the opposite, a one-way trip to the bottom of the pile.
9) More than One Page
One of the hardest parts about creating your resume is keeping it to one page. There is so much information, and with only one page it can be really challenging to compress everything. Regardless of that, one page is a lot more professional and clean cut. Employers like to see everything on one page, and with so little time actually being spent looking at your resume, adding a second page will only take away from that.
10) Lying on your Resume
Adding something you do not know how to do on your resume can be detrimental. Sure, it will help you get an interview, but then what? The employer asks you about this certain skill you have, and now you have to talk about it. Say you are able to make something up to get through that? It does not end there. Now in the workplace you are expected to be able to perform to a certain standard that you probably have no experience in. No matter what, keep the resume honest and stick to what you can do. If there is a skill you do not have that is vital to the position, just explain to the employer you do not know it but are eager to learn. It may end up working out better than you expected.
While there really is no such thing as the perfect resume, learning what works and what does not can get you pretty close. Remember, employers spend on average under a minute looking at your resume. It is important that your resume portrays you as a strong candidate, while at the same time giving the employer insight into what kind of worker you are. A solid resume is the first step on the road to your job!
Have you had any bad experiences with your resume or want to share some other advice on building a resume? Comment below and let us know!