There are some things you should never do on your resume. You’ve heard them all before, but it would surprise you how often even career experts have a lapse in attention and commit these common sense crimes. So, here they are again!
Not only can they hurt your prospects of getting hired, but they can also ruin your reputation with old co-workers and former employers. Here are six resume mistakes that you should never make.
Never lie in your resume, or in any correspondence with a company. A diligent hiring manager will find you out rather easily. Expect to have your background checked. A simple Google search can quickly uncover a fake title or missing degree. You do yourself a disservice when you commit this common sense crime instead of amplifying what you’ve already accomplished.
Don’t say you’re highly skilled at something you’re currently learning. That type of exaggeration can put you in a bad position if you’re hired for that skill. Instead, emphasize things you’ve recently learned that you want to use and develop in your next job. Let the potential employer know what you’re excited to learn about and how you see your role evolving. These are great points of conversation to show true career determination.
3. Lacking focus
A one-size-fits-all resume can be a sign of an unfocused or lazy applicant. Have two or three major templates of your resume focused on specific roles or skillset. Use highlights to mark sections that you want to edit on the fly when customizing your resume for each job opportunity -- which you should always be doing! Differentiate yourself with your diligence.
4. Messy formatting or length
Messy formatting can also hurt your first impression. According to a study by TheLadders, there is a clear pattern of where the eyes of a recruiter go when looking at a resume. If they can’t get the information they need within the first 6 seconds of looking, they’re likely to put you in the no pile. Length contributes to this effect, so keep your resume to one page per ten years of experience.
5. Missing a cover letter
Always have a cover letter. There’s never a reason not to unless it’s explicitly asked that you hold off until you’re asked. It is the place where you take a generic detail from your resume and elaborate on how you work within a team, what you’ve learned in your last several positions, and how it all applies to the role you’re applying for.