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Resume Mistakes Job Seekers Make

Any job seeker who has tried writing a resume knows resume writing is much more complex than it actually looks. There is an art to designing a resume and when job seekers get it right, they increase their chances of gaining of interviews. Let’s take a look at resume mistakes the majority of candidates make:

Resume Mistake #1

The biggest mistake job seekers make when creating their resume is trying to follow “resume rules” they read. In terms of “resume rules,” most of them are simply guidelines. With the exception that a resume should be accomplishment driven, all the other advice you’ve come across should be weighed against your particular situation.

As an example, if you’ve read a resume should only be one page, apply that advice to your situation. Can you fit the last 10 to 15 years of experience on a single page? Or do you need two pages to adequately spell out your accomplishments? Most likely you need more than one page and the one-page-resume-rule applies to a recent college graduate or someone with less than five years of work experience.

When writing your resume keep in mind that your situation is unique. What worked for a friend may not work for you and not every piece of advice you read is applicable to you. So use critical thinking skills to determine the suggestions you should implement.

Resume Mistake #2

In life, you can’t be all things to all people. Your professional life isn’t any different. The resume you create should be focused on one interest. This means you need more than one resume if you are willing to take your career in different directions. That’s fine. There’s nothing taboo about spreading your wings. Just know that in order to do that successfully, you have to compartmentalize your experience.

Let’s say you are interested in a sales position, but you are also willing to take an administrative job. Some of the skills for each position are the same (e.g., people and follow-through skills) and others will be different. In sales, knowledge of consultative sales techniques is important; a skill an administrative assistant doesn’t need. Adding an unnecessary skill-set to a resume distracts from the skills that are pertinent to the job you are seeking. That is the reason you need more than one resume. To keep the reader focused on the information that matters.

Resume Mistake #3

Copying and pasting your job description on your resume. That is never a good idea. The words on your resume should be unique; not a plagiarism job. In addition, when you copy and paste your job description, you are breaking the only “resume rule” that is applicable to all job seekers – your resume should be accomplishment focused. A job description hones in on responsibilities, and responsibilities make for a boring and uninformative read.

Conclusion

A polished resume improves your brand and increases the number of times your phone rings. The result will lead to better job opportunities.

- Linda Matias

Linda Matias is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer who heads CareerStrides.com. You can reach her at linda@careerstrides.com to request a resume quote. You can also visit her website at www.careerstrides.com.

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