Find your resume. Hold it in your hand or upload it to your screen. We are now going to check it for any of these 15 common resume mistakes. If your resume contains any of them, it’s a sign that it could be a good time to do an update.
These are suggestions only. By all means, if you want to use a wacky font and talk about your bee keeping experience, that’s up to you. But this is what the experts suggest!
- Never justify text blocks, this can make your resume full of strange, blank spaces. Instead make sure your text is left-aligned.
- Never use personal pronouns. These are words like I, me, my. Your resume should be in first person. For example, you should write “experienced with managing small teams” rather than “I am experienced with managing small teams”.
- Never forget where you’ve come from. Don’t leave out the locations of your past roles. For example, Retail Manager, Fremantle, Perth would suffice, there is no need to name the state unless this is relevant to the role you are applying for.
- Never list really old jobs that are irrelevant to the role you are applying for. If you worked at Pizza Hut when you were 16, leave this information out unless your duties were relevant to the type of work you’re applying for now.
- Never spend a lot of time and space listing activities that you don’t want to focus on in the future, for example, “administration and clerical duties” if you don’t want to concentrate on those anymore. If they are still relevant to the role you are applying for, think of a way of creatively listing them.
- Never list your high school, unless you are under 25.
- Never list irrelevant personal information; such as the fact you love rollerblading, your religion, your height or weight. The only time you should do this is if it’s directly related to the role you are applying for. Same goes for political affiliations and your marital status, sexual preferences or ethnicity. Your employer does not need to know.
- Never list your references on your resume. Instead add a section where you say, “references available on request”.
- Never use odd sized paper if sending a hard copy. Make sure you use a standard A4 size.
- Never use loud colours or crazy fonts. Keep to standard formatting, margins and fonts.
- Never list past gripes form your past roles, such as reasons for leaving, workers’ compensation claims and other things that could be considered controversial.
- Never list areas of interest that are not relevant to your business experience as your resume is a business document. These are things like, “Treasurer of the North Coast Bee Keeping Club” or “Parishioner at the Manly-Warringah Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Mentioning social organisations or military service should also be left off unless directly related to the role you are applying for.
- Never make your margins more than approximately 2 centimetres.
- Never rely on spell check only. You need to carefully proofread your document, and then get a friend or colleague to give it a second read-through for anything you may have missed.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: Never lie on your resume, this is a place to showcase all the good things you have achieved in your professional life, not to embellish your skills.