The first quarter of 2018 is almost over. Avoiding the biggest resume mistakes is very important if you want any chance at all of securing job invitation interviews throughout the remainder of the year. Your resume has one purpose, and that is to persuade Hiring Managers that you meet their criteria and that you are worth interviewing.
Below, we’ve developed a list of things that drive us crazy about resumes. We are sharing it with you in the hopes you won’t drive Hiring Managers crazy and keep yourself from getting a job interview.
- Using an old and/or unprofessional email address
You want to convey a professional image on your resume and an email that reads ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ does not paint you that impression. If you do not have one yet, it is now the perfect time to create a professional sounding email address with your name on it. Also, if you are applying for a job with an old AIM, Hotmail, Yahoo or another obscure email server, you may be doing yourself a disservice. We highly suggest using Gmail. This is particularly true if you are applying for a tech job or one that requires you to be tech savvy where you’ll likely to use collaboration tools such as Google Apps or Microsoft for Teams.
- Indicating your full address
If you are planning to relocate for work, you probably already know it is ideal to leave your current address off your resume. However, in 2018, it is becoming increasingly common for job seekers to completely remove this information regardless of their target location. If you are looking for a position in your current location and want Hiring Managers to know you are a local applicant, just include your city/suburb, state, and zip code. Leave your house number and street address off to protect yourself from possible identify theft.
- Listing too many phone numbers
It is easier to miss an important message from a potential employer if you introduce more phone numbers into the mix. Prevent this confusion by listing a single phone number, ideally the number for your mobile phone.
- Providing unclickable links
This one goes back to us recognising that it is already 2018 and technology has made it super easy for us to do this. Any link that you indicate on your resume should be clickable hyperlink, not just the typed out address. This applicable for your email address or if you prefer to include links to your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, or websites of your current and previous employers. This will save the Hiring Manager’s time. It is your responsibility to keep their interest and make their life easier during the recruitment procedure. Moreover, including your personal social media account (such as Facebook or Instagram) is one of the crucial things to avoid this 2018, as this would not add professional value to the job for which you are applying. Although just because you leave your Facebook link off your resume doesn’t mean that potential employers won’t search for it. We recommend job seekers to keep their posts in Facebook and other social media pages PG-rated.
- Using fancy script and/or outdated font
Any font with curly-tailed ends might look nice, but it actually slows down reading comprehension. Common fonts like Arial and Times New Roman seem like good font to use as they are easy to read, though the problem with these fonts is not in their ease of reading but in the fact that almost everyone else will have used these. Consider using Calibri or Cambria. These fonts are not used as often as some of the other easy to read fonts. They are fairly compact allowing you to add in a few extra words onto each page. They are easier to read on monitors and also when printed. Try to stick with just the one font on your resume. Using multiple fonts for different areas of your resume can confuse the eye and distract the reader.
- Including irrelevant (or too personal) information
It is not required to include personal information, such as your tax file number, marital status, nationality, or religion. We also suggest removing your hobbies from your resume. Unless you are extremely new to the workforce or your personal interests are relevant to your target job, you are merely wasting resume real estate. Other personal or irrelevant information you should never include on your resume are: sexual inclination, photo of yourself, age, and your GPA.
- Overdoing formatting
Use formatting strategically to draw the reader’s attention to the points that you feel are the most important. Be conservative throughout your resume in the use of bold, italics, capitals, and other effects. Keeping this in mind, avoid using huge blocks of text that are full of italics, bolding, and underlining. This is confusing to the eye and can have completely opposite effects to what you were trying to achieve. Moreover, you don’t want Hiring Managers to give up on your resume because of excessive use of CAPITAL LETTERS, which make them feel they are being SHOUTED AT.
- Listing references
Don’t waste space by listing your references or including a note such as ‘References available upon request’ at the bottom of your resume. Hiring Managers usually don’t ask for these info until you make it to a face-to-face interview, and they know you’ll provide it if they request it. Be careful though when doing this, as some job posting explicitly requests your references to be stated on your resume. In this case, be sure to include them or you may disqualified from the further process.
For more ideas on how to craft winning resumes, take a look at these samples.