You want your resume to stand out above the rest, but there are good ways and bad ways to make a first impression. A highly creative format or otherwise irregular resume might seem like a good way to distinguish yourself early on. However, part of the reason resumes are so popular is that they help employers determine whether you can follow guidelines enough to prepare a basic professional document, as a prerequisite to being considered for hiring. You’ll likely receive more callbacks if with a more traditional resume. Read on to learn about five resume faux pas so that your qualifications do the job of selling you as a employee.
The Length Is Excessive
Your resume should instantly grab a reader’s attention, which is why your resume should be concise and straightforward. Unless you have over 20 years of experience in your field, limit the length to two pages, leaning towards one page when you can convey the important points in that space. If you have a long list of awards, speaking engagements, etc. considering including an additional sheet just for those items so the reader doesn’t have to wade through long lists in the main part of your resume.
There Are Too Many Keywords
Some people choose the opposite route of the memoir-style resume and opt for lists of keywords. Although this approach may entice search engines, the individual who ends up reading your resume could very well expect more substance and a more coherent, engaging and personal. Opt for a healthy balance of short and medium-length statements within your resume. A well-rounded resume format includes a summary in paragraph format and moderate use of bullet points under experience, education, skills and other appropriate sections. Sprinkle keywords naturally within your resume to avoid a forced, artificial feel.
There Are Too Many Colors
Templates are a great way to get inspired as they offer a series of formatting ideas; however, some of the more colorful templates may can come across as unprofessional. Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, a minimal amount of flair may be acceptable. The more professional the position, the more important it is to keep the emphasis on the content of the resume as opposed to the aesthetics. When possible, opt for classic black print on white paper. Dark blue is also acceptable in the majority of cases while resumes for more artistic jobs can take some creative license with colors. Whatever the circumstances, make sure that your resume is easily readable with enough contrast.
The Font Is Too Complicated or Is Unprofessional
Just like your choice of colors, the font you choose is important. Create a resume format that is clean and organized. In addition, not all fonts display correctly in all browsers. Choose an understated and traditional font, like Times New Roman or Cambria, so the emphasis will remain on you and your experience. If you need to add emphasis, consider using italics or bold type; use these sparingly and consistently for the best results.
There Is Unnecessary Information
There may later be a suitable occasion to share information about your personal life, but in order to effectively use the space on your resume, steer clear of listing anything outside the realm of your work experience, skills or knowledge, such as marital status. Include volunteer work only if it displays your work-related skills or transferable skills. Focus on activities that supplement your work-related skills rather than unrelated personal interests. You don’t need to state reasons for leaving past employment.
For more information, you can visit LiveCareer and pick up more tips that will help you create a winning resume.