A good resume is your number one tool when it comes to any job search. Not only will you need to submit one for 99.9% of job applications out there, but a resume also acts as a first impression to recruiters, hiring managers, and potential employers. Basically, your resume is a crucial piece to your success in landing your next position.
Often overlooked, your resume defines who you are as an employee and professional.
It’s not just your experience and qualifications that make or break your resume the overall thoughtfulness you put into it is important as well and reflects how much you value your career. Does it look rushed or like you used a generic template? Do the phrases you use accurately describe your experience? Just listing out your previous roles with a bullet or two doesn’t stack up, especially in such a competitive market. Hiring managers reviewing your resume are going to do nothing but try and poke holes in it, so don’t give them any reason to pass you up.
From a team that looks at hundreds of resumes in one day, we have identified many common mistakes that people are making when drafting and sending out a resume. It might seem insignificant, but some of these minor details can be the difference between getting an interview request and getting passed over:
- Fonts – First things first, nothing crazy. Not everything has to be Times New Roman or Arial but make sure it’s professional and readable. Also, make sure sizing is consistent, this is a smaller detail but inconsistent sizing can come off sloppy or even decrease the overall readability.
- Not Enough Info – You’ve done some pretty cool stuff, so don’t sell yourself short with a basic bullet or two, really highlight all the key points of the role. Remember this is your first impression to anyone who looks at your resume. A good rule of thumb: Each position should have at least 2 pieces of quantitative information (ie. Closed $1.2M in enterprise-scale deals in Q2) and at least 4 thoughtful bullet points about what you do + your accomplishments. Read each bullet point individually. If it doesn’t provide any value or insight by itself, remove it.
- Way Too Wordy – Of course, you want to be aware of the flip side as well. Including an excessive amount of bullet points can really bog down the reader, and if you add too much extraneous information it distracts from important information hiring managers are looking for. Every bullet point should be intentional, anything beyond that doesn’t need to go on your resume. While the “one-page resume” rule has fallen by the wayside, we don’t suggest making it longer than two.
- Adding Professional Style – You don’t have to be a graphic designer but adding a little bit of color or an eye-catching layout can really make an impression. There are several resources, like Canva, where you can find professional and clean templates for FREE. Just make sure that any colors are readable and the layout format isn’t too busy, you want it to catch the eye of hiring managers in a positive way and don’t hinder their ability to read it.
- You Don’t Need Fillers – If any of these things are on your resume right now, go ahead and delete them. They needed fillers and distract from the point of your resume:
“References Upon Request”
Personal Information (besides your phone number, email, & city)
Just trust us. You don’t need it.
- Skip The Photos – A good rule of thumb is to leave photos off of a resumes. We’ve seen countless resumes with a “headshot” on them and unfortunately, they tend to either distract from your experience or don’t add additional value to your candidacy. Unless you’re an actor, save the visuals for social media. If you need advice on ramping up your Linkedin profile, we’ve got you covered.
Hopefully, you can use a couple of these tips or tricks to help you refresh your resume. Just remember, your resume is simply a fraction of what you need to bring to the job search. Attitude, personal branding, persistence, and networking all play a major part in landing you that next position. Just let your resume anchor you throughout the process!