Top 5 Résumé Mistakes

Most job seekers understand that a résumé should be free from typos and be two pages in length, max.  Beyond these basics, however, what should you do, and avoid doing, to ensure your résumé makes it into the “must call” pile?

Refer to PrideStaff’s list of common résumé mistakes.  By avoiding these key errors, you can create a top-notch résumé that will get a recruiter’s attention and put you in contention for the job:

Failing to do your homework.  Don’t wait to get called in for an interview to research the employer and the position you want.  Before you submit your résumé, visit the company’s website and conduct a Google or Bing search, using the News tab.  Learn about the company’s core competencies, industries served, competitors and recent accomplishments/media attention, and find out everything you can about the job.  Why do all this legwork?  Keep reading.

Taking a “one size fits all” approach.  Customizing your résumé for the job you want is a great way to catch a recruiter’s eye and send your résumé to the top of the pile.  The more closely your résumé matches a potential employer’s needs, the greater the likelihood you’ll get called for an interview.  Use the information you learn from your research to tailor your “career objective” statement and align your skills and experience with those of the available position.

Not offering proof.  Any applicant can claim he has helped a company save time or increase efficiency.  Set yourself apart by using numbers to back up your claims (e.g., “increased sales by 25%,” “decreased customer wait times by three minutes,” etc.).  Whenever possible, quantify the results you delivered or find other concrete ways to describe what you have achieved – beyond merely completing assigned job tasks.

Ignoring the WIIFM for the employer.  When crafting your résumé, be sure you write it with the potential employer in mind.  The facts and accomplishments you list at the top should demonstrate how your value translates into his specific needs.  Use the most relevant and impressive qualifications from throughout your career to create a brief, yet comprehensive summary of qualifications.  Write in active voice to build a compelling bulleted list that shows the employer “What’s In It For Me?”

Forgetting about keywords.  Today’s recruiters rely heavily on keyword-searchable databases to screen potential candidates.  To boot, many employers search third-party job and résumé-posting boards to source applicants.  Bearing these facts in mind, your résumé absolutely must incorporate keywords to make the cut.  Rely on the research you’ve conducted, as well as the job posting itself, to create and integrate a list of 10 to 15 keywords germane to the industry and position.

On the job hunt?  PrideStaff can help ensure that you don’t just search, but succeed.  With offices from coast to coast, we help candidates find great jobs, temporary or full-time, within our network of clients. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more, or search jobs here.