The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced in their March 2012 report that there are currently 5.3 million long-term unemployed people in the U.S. This figure is virtually unchanged from the previous month, meaning nearly 43% of the unemployed sector has been without a job for more than six months. That is a lot of competition when applying for a job.
To ensure that you make the cut, you need a carefully crafted resume, not one that ends up in the trash because of these six mistakes that are easy to make but imperative to avoid.
These scream inattention to detail. An employer doesn’t want someone who glosses over important details. If you can’t review your own resume for spelling errors and typos, how can they have confidence in your ability to intelligently represent the company in your reports, presentations and email communication?
The Never-Ending Story
Having a multi-paged resume is acceptable when you have lengthy job history that relates in each instance to the open position. However, you do not need to tell your life’s story within each job. Use a Twitter mindset to compress your most important qualities and contributions within your descriptions. A resume that looks like an essay is likely to be skipped rather than scanned.
Don’t make it a challenge for employers to determine your relevant experience. Customize your resume for each application to leave out unnecessary details that don’t highlight skills for the job at hand.
It looks pretentious rather than courteous to provide your references up-front. Employers treat references in a variety of ways. Let them dictate how many they would like and how and when they want them.
Self Centered Focus
A resume that is filled with all of the things you’ve done and how awesome you are is not as helpful to an employer as one that tells how very specific abilities you possess can make them awesome.
Consider what your personal email address says about you before listing it in your contact information. It may be witty to your circle of friends, but a potential employer might not take firstname.lastname@example.org seriously. Set up a no-nonsense address focused on your name and use it for all job-seeking opportunities. It will also help keep responses to your applications from getting lost in the shuffle when they go to a dedicated address.
Finally, your resume will be reviewed many times by potential employers and executive search firms. Make yourself stand out.
What other resume mistakes could make or break the candidate? Share your examples, horror stories and pet peeves.