Perfecting your resume can be a lengthy and tiring process, but it's all worth it when you get called in for an interview. However, while you may think your resume is flawless, you might be making common mistakes and be completely unaware of it. There's a lot of subjectivity around what goes into a good resume, but there are also some major errors that can turn off recruiters or hiring managers. Here are five common resume mistakes to avoid:
1. Formatting issues
Sending out a resume online can be nerve-wracking, considering the entire process seems rather nebulous. Once your resume is submitted, there's no way of knowing how much time a hiring manager spends looking over it. However, if you don't format your resume appropriately, they may not look at it at all. When submitting applications online, make sure that your resume is in the proper format (.doc, PDF, etc.) so that your application doesn't get discounted. Also consider that complex elements such as charts, graphs, headers and footers may not automatically format into the application system.
2. Not aligning your profiles
If your resume and professional profiles have disparate information, it can make you look untruthful or show a lack of attention to detail. The information on your resume, LinkedIn profile, portfolio and other professional materials should all corroborate. This doesn't mean you should just cut and paste your resume across different platforms online, but you should make sure that your name and contact information are consistent and that your professional qualifications line up.
3. Listing skills at the bottom
Once you've listed all of your past work experience and education on your resume, it's easy to try and sandwich in a list of skills near the bottom of the document. Your skills shouldn't be an afterthought, place them in the top third of your resume so that they catch the attention of recruiters. Remember that hiring managers like to see keywords and relevant skills that immediately distinguish you as a viable candidate for the position.
4. Adding irrelevant information
Listing hobbies, interests and other personal information only makes sense if it's directly related to the position. Your resume has a very finite amount of space, and rather than add frivolous information, stick to info that's relevant. For new job seekers, it may be hard to fill up an entire page with professional qualifications. In this situation, remember that white space can be a valuable asset on your resume as well. Use spacing to draw attention to important details on your resume rather than clutter it with random activities.
5. Using an objective
Putting an objective at the top of your resume has become somewhat outdated and generally doesn't convey the image you are hoping to achieve. Instead, opt for an executive summary that provides a general description of your skills, accomplishments and qualifications. While it can be a daunting task to summarize your resume in one or two sentences, this will ultimately be much more valuable than an objective. Think about it this way: A summary tells an employer what you bring to the table, whereas an objective expresses to employers what you want. The former shows initiative and demonstrates that you're ready to take on new challenges. The latter has an inherently selfish quality.
Overall, make sure your resume is precise and customize it to fit every position for which you apply individually. Keep information relevant and consistent, and make sure your resume provides recruiters and hiring managers with tangible evidence of your abilities.