Check out some fun designs for resumes here, keeping in mind that a very ‘designy’ resume might make sense for a designer seeking to gain work, could also seem inappropriate for certain other jobs. Stand out but be aware of the context.
The biggest mistake on a resume? Using the same one over and over again. Employers can spot a generic application in a nanosecond, and they don’t like it. Hiring managers want to see a document that tailors your skills and experience specifically to the job they posted, and demonstrates what you can do for them, and how you see yourself moving forward with the organization to mutual benefit.
*Using basic empathy, put yourself in the place of the hiring manager: what would make your job easier? Make it clear that you know what the job is, and that you are willing and able to do it. Not sure what the job actually is? Well, research what it is beforehand and get the finer details via phone or at the interview stage.
Five other common resume mistakes
1 – Not matching your title to the job
The title of your resume should match the title of the job you are applying to. If your resume has a different title, it looks like you are applying to a different job. Don’t make the hiring manager try to guess how your particular career title matches up with the position they are hiring for. Make it clear. If you’re applying for the Office Manager position, send in a resume with ‘Office Manager’ in the title.
2- Describing job responsibilities – not accomplishments
Hiring managers know what job descriptions match your old job titles. There’s little mystery in what an Editor or a Customer Service Representative does. The unique and interesting part is what you alone accomplished in that role. What set you apart? What have you done, learned or accomplished there that can be particularly useful to your potential new employer. Use numbers if you can.
3- Not tailoring your work history and accomplishments
All of your jobs, community or voluntary work can potentially be relevant if you can highlight how the skills you learned and used benefit your new employer. You have to market your transferable skills to the target company’s business needs. (You’ll know what these are from carefully reading the job description that you are applying to.) Sell your experience.
4- Listing too many jobs
As much as I said that every job and community activity can be relevant, it is also possible to list too many on a resume. I don’t believe that a resume has to fit on one page, or even on two if you need more space to sell your story. However, everything that is included has to be compelling. Descriptions of irrelevant jobs that you held a decade or more ago will only serve to take up valuable space and water down the pertinent material. Keep it recent, and cut to the essentials.
If you have valuable accomplishments from many older jobs that you think it is important to include, consider using an ‘Other Relevant Experience’ sub section underneath your recent work history where you can bullet point these wins briefly.
5- Not proofreading
Employers expect you to try hard, pay attention to detail and produce quality work on the job.
Proofread. Take a break. Proofread again. Then have someone else proofread it for you.
Excerpts taken from Peter Harris