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12 Common Mistakes to Avoid in your Resume

September 9, 2015

 

We're looking forward to our next big break, trying to wow the recruiter over, with all we know and can do, but let's face it, we all need a little push in the right direction. There are some cardinal errors we absolutely must avoid lest we end up looking like careless jokers.

 

Here are 12 basic but very common mistakes some of us might overlook while drafting  resume:

 

1) Capital letter alphabets

More often than not candidates retort to using capital letters on every second word to draw more attention towards it. Well guess what, that only amounts to very poor punctuation. A word can only begin with a capital letter if it a proper noun or/and the beginning of a new sentence. They may also be used in a heading or title but never ever in between a sentence only to emphasize a word.

 

2) Bold lettering

Here again candidates bold words to stress on their importance. This is acceptable only in headings, avoid bold lettering because your resume on a whole is important and if something is not, then it should not be on your resume in the first place. So don't draw attention away from the rest of your resume. If certain skills need to be accentuated put them under a separate section like "Core Skills" to get them all the attention they deserve.

 

3) Upper Case words

WRONG!! Notice how it sounds like shouting? Absolutely avoid this one lest you want your prospective employer thinking that you are shouting at them because upper case words signifies exactly so.  DON'T DO IT!!

 

4) Too many font styles

Stick to maximum 3 font styles. Ideally I would restrict myself to 2 fonts, but only if must, you may use 3. Do some homework on which font style complement each other and which clash, this could make or break your resume.

 

5) Grammatical errors

This one goes without saying but please proofread your  resume before sending it out. Do not rely on spell check itself. Go over it at least 3 times yourself or get that grammar nazi friend of yours to go over it once for you.

 

6) Punctuation

It exists for a reason so use it. Punctuation makes a world of a difference. You see there is a difference between "Let's eat grandma" and "Let's eat, grandma!". Punctuation can save lives and it can also be a pivotal moment in your career.

 

7) Adding a signature

Okay, let me remind you that we live in the digital age and not the time when we would submit our resumes in person by hand, when taking out a pen and adding that signature was a nice twist to give your resume. It is the age of PDFs and e-mails. Even if you do meet someone in person they will ask you to email them your resume, so do away with the signature and find new ways to keep your prospective employer fascinated.

 

8) Repeating information

 Resumes are meant to be crisp and professional. There is no need to repeat the same information repeatedly just in case the recruiter misses out on it the first time around. Use innovative ways to divert more attention to where you want example using colours or graphics.

 

9)  Adding family details

Now why does a company need to know your father' name or your mother's occupation? Does that have anything to do with your professional calibre? Certainly not! So let's all give this one a pass.

 

10) Adding your salary expectation

I understand you do not want to waste time interviewing with a company which cannot live up to your salary expectations, but having said so, adding your current/expected salary is very unprofessional. Most companies mention the salary bracket for vacancies and if not a quick search on Glassdoor may get you answers.

 

11) Adding a declaration

I have no clue how this one even started but it goes without mentioning that you are expected to be completely honest in your resume with or without having to declare the sincerity behind it. So let's all pretend this concept  never existed.

 

12) Naming the file

This one is most overlooked - correctly naming your resume document. I have received documents named "Shelly Baron- Resumexx final to send abroad" and on opening up I see it is the resume of a lad Joseph Fred. If you are altering someone else's resume to use as a format for your own it is absolutely crucial to rename the file. Even if you are doing it all by yourself the acceptable name format is

"Your Name - Resume ".

 

And there we have it. I am sure we are all guilty of at least one if not most of these mistakes. Now that we are all enlightened, we can go take on the world and get that job we all too well deserve.