Resume Best Practices – Do and Don’ts

You may heard of the first impression is the last impression a million times. This is how resume works. Your resume is the first impression on your prospective employer. It is imperative to make your resume craftily as it will somehow become the deciding factor if you would be called for an interview or not.

A resume is a list of all your accomplishments, qualification, and prior work experience. It is basically a timeline of your career till now and other aspects which helped you to reach where you are standing right now.

Why Resume is so important?

A resume is a marketing tool for any job seeker. Marketing requires good representation and full functional details of the product and service being sold. In the same way, when a candidate is looking for a job it is necessary to provide complete details to the hirer.

A bad resume can cost you a job of a lifetime. Try to look for professional resume examples before drafting one and follow this article to draft a meticulous resume for yourself.

Top Resume Mistakes

Practice makes man perfect but when it comes to resume, editing and re-editing makes your resume perfect. Recruiters have hundreds of resume for one job, it takes seconds to decide if they want to go through your resume or not. That’s why it becomes imperative to send the perfect resume which highlights all the important aspects of your journey so far.

Here are the top 5 resume mistakes to avoid for making a perfect hit:

1. Including too much Information

Using 0.5 margin and 8.0 font in order to fit as much as you can in one page is an epic failure. Try to have plenty of white space and not more or less than 0.8 margins.

Having dense blocks of text makes it tough to glance. As your resume is has only glanced first. Don’t make this mistake.

2. Grammatical errors and typos

This is the worst blunder one can do. Grammatical error and typos are irritating for recruiters because it hinders their overall resume glancing process as well as it shows lack of seriousness on the part of the candidate. Take time to proofread your resume.

3. Using a one-size-fits-all approach

While applying for the job you often try to create a resume which can be sent to multiple companies at one time; however, this approach is not good. Tweak it a little bit to show your interest in the company you’re applying. Include keywords to match the job description.

4. Not quantifying your accomplishments

Empty self-congratulatory accomplishments can prove nothing, quantify your achievements. Write numbers, “three times best annual performer in a row”, the number of team members managed, sales figure, etc.

5. No Action Verbs

Action verbs are life-giving phrases of any resume. These phrases show off your initiative and punch up the overall language of your resume.

Simplicity v/s Creativity

Giving your resume a uniqueness that can separate it from the crowd is every candidate’s desire. This inner urge leads to the many types of different creative resume. Applicants have used infographics, video and even time trails for replacing standard resume.

Unfortunately, this can be one of the best ways to annoy recruiters as they are habitual of glancing at your resume. 

Creative resume can be annoying or job winning depending on the type of position you’re applying for. The post, for example, graphic designer or video maker may require you to do that extra bit of hard work to stand out.

If you’re applying for accountant and manager then traditional resume is more preferred.

Be cautious of making creative resume as many times they can do more harm than good. As it has too much flair and oversaturated with keywords.

Things need to Remove and Add in Resume

We all make mistakes and resume writing is also prone to this problem. Make sure to follow below-mentioned guidelines of what to exclude and include from your resume to avoid major blunders most people make while drafting a resume.

5 Things to Exclude from your Resume

1. An objective

Almost 85% of candidates make this mistake. If you are applying for a job then it is obvious you need that job. Don’t add objective in your resume unless you are an exceptional situation such as changing industries or switching job roles. In such cases, add a relevant brief summary instead of objective.

2. Irrelevant work experiences

Recruiters want to see how well you fit to the job role not how many different experiences you have. Adding only relevant work experience makes your resume to the point and concise.

3. Personal details

According to new provisions do not include any personal information such as social security number, religion or political views, it may lead to discrimination. Now, it is no more needed to include such information though it used to come into guidelines of resume earlier.

Also, do not include references.

4. Your hobbies

If your hobbies are not related to the job you are applying for then it is a waste of space and waste of time for the recruiter. Only hobbies which correlate to the job posting should be mentioned.

5. Blatant lies

It’s okay not to get perfectly fit into the job requirements. Including blatant lies counted as efforts of proving you have 100% qualifications. Candidates should focus on the skills they can offer rather than focusing on skills they can’t offer.

5 Things to Include in your Resume

1. Contact Information

Do include your contact information and make it visible. Include your LinkedIn profile link at the top. Do not mention your street address and give only one phone number and email address.

2. Professional Title

Mention your job title unambiguously. When someone is looking at your resume there should be no doubts related to the position you are applying for.

3. Metrics

Recruiters need numbers to fully evaluate your competency to do a particular job. Include your accomplishments in measurable terms such as achieved sales targets by 120% for consistently last 6 months.

4. Credentials and Certifications

If you have any additional certification or diploma degree which is relevant to your field write it as an acronym to your name. Do not mention undergraduate degrees which are irrelevant to the position applied at the top.

5. Relevant URLs

Resume has a limited space to tell everything you want to. Adding relevant URLs such as URL of your website can help recruiters to know more about you. A cherry on the cake you are not crossing the boundaries of resume writing.

End Note

Resume drafting and re-drafting is the only way to write a near-perfect resume. Be concise and crisp with your content. It’s a short narrative not your biography. Write your resume keeping in mind your audience i.e. your recruiter and job you’re applying for.

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