Writing a résumé can be quite a challenging and nervous experience, especially when applying for a specific job you really want. Many people find that it can be overwhelming, which is why they hire someone to write it for them. Even though someone else writes it, it's always a good idea to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If you are writing one for yourself, whatever your level of experience, there's probably a greater need to scrutinize every bit of it, since potential employers will see flaws and errors resulting in being overlooked for the position. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid to give you a greater chance of landing the job.
1. Writing a One-Size-Fits-All Résumé
Many people make the mistake of sending in a generic résumé which they just send to countless potential employers. They sit and wonder why sending over a hundred hasn't resulted in being contacted. They fail to realize that this not only doesn't work but is also a waste of their time. It would be better to send ten résumés that are specifically tailored to each company. You will need to customize your résumé, highlighting the skills and experiences that closely resemble that of the position being applied for. Never bother with a one-size-fits-all résumé. These days, that just doesn't work anymore.
2. Spelling And Grammar
Employers are very proficient in reading between the lines. If your résumé contains errors, you might as well kiss the job goodbye. The person reading your résumé will assume (correctly) that you just didn't care enough to pay attention to detail, something that ironically may be part of the job for which you're applying. It can be tricky catching your own mistakes. Go through it several times, but make sure to ask a few people as well. It's easier for someone else to spot your mistakes. Make sure your contact information is correct. There's nothing worse than having a flawless résumé only to find out months later that a typographical error in your telephone number may have cost you your dream job!
3. NEVER Bad-Mouth A Previous Employer
No matter how much it might be true, never, ever do this. The only person that will be viewed in a negative light is YOU. You may be seen as a problem employee or someone who doesn't get along with superiors or even co-workers. If ever there was a time to lie, this would be it!
4. Mention Accomplishments, Not Duties
Nowadays, it's more important for employers to read about what you've accomplished rather then what your duties were in a previous place of employment. Make your statements more active, showcasing what you've achieved. So, instead of saying you've worked with the elderly, let an employer know that you organized a weekly excursion for senior citizens to various places of interest. Instead of saying that you've served customers in a restaurant, you could say that you were responsible for running a bi-weekly trivia quiz for patrons in a busy upscale restaurant.
5. Don't Mention Salary
Never mention past salaries or what your current salary expectations are in your résumé. If you've managed to get an interview, then that subject may arise, but not before. You don't want to come across as arrogant. In the résumé stage, it's all about what the employer wants, not what you want. Besides, at this stage of the game, talk of salary is not only irrelevant, it's unnecessary. So don't say that you are unwilling to work for less than $50,000 a year with medical and dental benefits. Game over.
There are many pitfalls in writing a résumé. Many people still get caught out making the simplest errors. You want your résumé to open doors for you, not slammed in your face. Be meticulous; pay attention to detail; read it over and over. Get others to read it and take suggestions on board. Make sure everything you say is relevant to the job you're applying for. Remember, it's about them, not you.