Some think that putting information together on a piece of paper is what a resume is all about. They are wrong.
In a world with thousands of job seekers, if not millions, resumes compete for employers attention. Fiascos are ignored without a second thought and the rest are judged with the scale of very good to extraordinary.
What are labeled fiascos are not so because of the nature of listed qualifications but the way information is put together.
To avoid sending out a resume that would surely end up in the trash, pay attention to small editing details.
1. Colorful resumes don t catch attention they just scream unprofessional. Diana Nessim, recruitment specialist at Deals HR and Recruitment Consultants, said a resume could hold a maximum of three colors. Hisham Mourad, senior trainer at the human resources department of NSGB Bank, said the black type is just enough. Use indentation and proper punctuation to highlight what you want, not the color red. The same goes for font sizes and types – Times New Roman in 12.
2. Lack of contact information. If your resume doesn t have your name, address, phone number and email address at the top or in an easy to find place, then the employer finds no point in considering the qualifications of an unreachable person.
3. Spelling mistakes. It just shows that the applicant didn t care and wasn t eager enough to run a spell check, explained Mourad.
4. Long resumes. If you are a fresh grad one-page resume is enough. If you have 20 years of experience, try to keep it concise as well; don t exceed three pages. If you need to cut down then toss whole categories like your interests and list of activities unrelated to the job, said Mourad.
5. No specific order or format to the resume. If it doesn t flow smoothly, the reader will get bored, Mourad noted. Choose a format for your resume and stick to it, for example organize it chronologically or according to job relevance. Don t jump from mentioning your work experience to your interests and then back to your education.
6. Confusing and incomplete information. Listing jobs without explaining what the workload entailed or when and how long you held this job is confusing to the employer, said Nessim. Briefly explaining job requirements is necessary if the person has worked their way to higher positions. The change in job obligation in different posts highlights the climb up the professional ladder, she adds.
7. Clutter and unnecessary details. Don t over do it. If you worked as a secretary don t include answering phone calls in the job description, at least not by itself, said Nessim. Just put the important details, leave the rest to the interview, said Mourad. Careerbuilder.com advices its users to focus on their accomplishments and not what they were required to do.
8. Mentioning your faith or religion. This is just unprofessional and unnecessary, as both Nessim and Mourad explained.
9. Objective. This should be relevant to the job you apply for, your experience and education and addressed to the employer, preferably in person. It s better if you state what you could add to the company, but Mourad said this should be left to the cover letter. Either way, the objective category shouldn t exceed five lines, he added.
10. Lies and exaggeration. When job seekers exaggerate their workload on their resumes, it shows, or at least raises doubts. Mourad stresses that when there are doubts, one phone call to the previous employer would clear matters. There is zero tolerance for liars.