Resume is the first impression you’ll make on prospective employers. It’s their quick look into your skills, achievements, and professional background. Obviously, your goal is to keep your resume out of a recruiter’s wastebasket and make it into that prestigious “interview” pile. This is an effective way for employers to select those candidates who stand out among their peers, it is absolutely necessary for a job seeker to project their best self on the resume by only presenting relevant information. However, some people tend to go overboard and include a host of unrelated information on the document, irrespective of applicability, which is a rookie mistake.
In order to avoid such slip-ups, here are the 5 most common mistakes people make while preparing their resume and why you should avoid them:
1. Photo–Placing your photo on a resume should be strictly avoided. Your picture, if not a professional one, can invite lots of negative comments.Doing so tends to make a bad first impression on the employer or HR personnel. Furthermore, there are many employers who tend to discriminate on the basis of colour, nationality, age, and/or appearance on your photo which, albeit an unethical practice, can cost you the job.
Therefore, it is best to avoid such scenarios by simply removing your photo from the document unless specifically requested by the company. If it is the former, choose a picture that has been professionally clicked in a studio.
2. Multiple fonts, sizes and colors –It is important to bear in mind that your resume is a professional document that highlights your expertise in certain fields and so, it should be extremely easy to comprehend by the employer. Therefore, try to concentrate more on the material that you put in rather than the font size or colour you use. Although it may seem like a great idea to emphasise on certain points using varying degree of formatting, it is advisable to keep it simple.
Use single standard fonts like Arial or Times New Roman and stick to dark colours like Black and Blue. If you wish to highlight certain words, choose the ‘Bold’ text. Since too much variation in font sizes and stylish fonts make it all the more difficult for eyes to pick up useful information from the resume, stick to one pattern all along.
3. Long sentences and paragraphs – Everything that you put on your resume is an important piece of information. Since employers have to go through thousands of job applications during the recruitment process, they only choose the ones that look well written and only contain relevant information. Therefore,it is best to avoid writing long sentences and paragraphs as doing so can lead an employer to quickly lose interest and move on without consideration. To justify the work you have done, demonstrate its impact on the company.
The best way to achieve this is by supporting your statement with facts & figures. For example: You can frame your sentences like the following – Increased the efficiency of department by 50%, over achieved target by 150%, made contribution of 1% in the revenue of the company. Additionally, avoid writing Salary history in your resume; this should be left for negotiation in the final interview.
4. ‘I, me, and myself’ –Avoid referring to yourself in first or third person.The resume is about you, so it is obvious that all the achievements and experiences are yours. Instead of writing sentences like “Myself <name>and I have a total experience of 2 years”, write something on the lines of”Total Experience: 2 years”.Keep it crisp, concise and to the point.
5. Personal Details –Resume shortlisting is always followed by personal interviews. Therefore, it is best to keep only important &useful information and save personal details for later. Avoid mentioning any kind of personal information like your mother’s name, father’s occupation, place of birth, marital status, etc. on your resume. Moreover, it is illegal for employers to ask for such details and deny employment to any individual based on the same.
Another factor to keep in mind while preparing your resume is to avoid mentioning any kind of social media account of yours like ‘Facebook’on your resume. The only personal details that are required in a resume is your mobile number, your E-mail ID, and in case of a skype interview – your skype ID. For the last two details, create professional IDs like ‘firstname.surname@ABC.com’, instead of an informal one.