A well-written resume is your first chance to get your foot in the door with a company, but unfortunately, many applicants fall victim to some easily avoided resume mistakes. Do not send the wrong message to the interviewer with a haphazard or unprofessional resume. If you avoid these common resume format mistakes, you’ll prove you have what it takes to sell yourself in a professional manner.
How Long Should My Resume Be?
One of the biggest resume format mistakes is making the resume unnecessarily long, especially if you don’t have many years of relevant experience. While it’s tempting to overstate your credentials in the hopes that it will cause you to stand out from other applicants, being too wordy is a resume format mistake. If the resume is long-winded and dense, it could easily lose the reader’s attention and suggest that you do not recognize the importance of getting to the point. Remember that employers spend an average of six seconds on every resume before discarding it or fully reviewing it, giving you not much time to grab and keep their attention. An appropriate length is one page for every 10 years of experience you have.
What Information Should Never Be Included on a Resume?
Don’t include personal information that has no value to the interviewer. This is one of the most common resume format mistakes that applicants make. There’s no need to include which high school you attended, unless you haven’t graduated yet. Do not list your ethnicity, birthplace, marital status, birthday or hobbies. Controversial topics such as religious beliefs or political views should never be alluded to on your resume.
Don’t make salary demands or leave the contact information for your previous jobs, and don’t list your reasons for leaving your previous jobs. Do, however, include the city and states of your past jobs, and list them in reverse chronological order. Never include your social security number. Also, do not include the statement “References Available upon Request.” If the employer wants references, he or she will ask you for it.
What Information Should Always Be Included on a Resume?
If you have achievements that show that you’re competitive, that you take initiative or that you’re a strong team player, mention them. This applies to volunteer work achievements as well as traditional work experiences. Highlight special certifications and credentials, and feel free to describe major educational accomplishments and areas of expertise. Most resumes call for a strong summary statement that gives a powerful preview of your experiential other qualifications, including personal attributes that are valuable to the culture of the job you’re seeking.
What Are Some Other Typical resume format Mistakes?
Don’t make the mistake of intimidating or off-putting the hiring manager with fancy fonts, graphics and photographs, or irregular formatting. When it comes to the overall look and style of your resume, go for neat, using 0.75-1 inch margins, traditional fonts, and around 11 point size. Also, use bold, italics and underlines consistently.
Another mistake is to include too much contact information. The majority of employers prefer minimal information, mainly for security purposes. For example, list the city and state where you live but not your street address. There should also be one good phone number and one professional email address. Do not give your current work email address.
LiveCareer has more information on resume format mistakes as well as resume builders, resume samples and other helpful tips.