Resumé writing is about as much fun as going to the dentist.
But it’s a necessary pain that every job seeker must endure if they want to relish in the lifestyle and joy that fulfilling career brings.
And if you’re about to revamp your resumé, you’re probably wondering how to avoid making the most common resumé mistakes.
Maybe you’re starting with a blank Microsoft Word document, or a downloaded resumé template.
But if you’re like most people, you’re starting with the last version of your resumé that you updated 5+ years ago.
Chances are, you’re going to find a couple of outdated designs in there that don’t work in today’s day and age, especially in the North American job market.
Here is a list of five things to watch out for.
Outdated Design #1 Your resumé is more than 2 pages long
The purpose of a resumé is to get a screening call for a job interview. That is all. That’s it’s only purpose.
A tried recruiters who is reviewing 10s, may 100s of resumés is not going to read that much content to make the call/no-call decision.
If you’re thinking “I’ll pack every responsibility, skill, certificate and education I’ve ever had, and let them choose”, you’re forcing the reader to look for needles in a haystack.
Research the job market to what your target job title needs, and only stick to those responsibilities and skills.
Outdated Design #2 You’ve started with an objective statement
The introduction of your resumé is all about you. It sounds something like “Seeking a challenging role in…where I can…”
The reader doesn’t care about what you want. What you want only matters after you get the job offer.
You need to start your resumé with an Executive Summary, that speaks to your biggest accomplishments as it relates to the job you’re applying for.
Outdated Design #3 You’ve listed Microsoft Office at the top of your resumé
Yes, it may be on the job description. But it doesn’t deserve to be on the top of your resumé. Stating “Good skills in Microsoft Office” is like saying “I know how to use a computer”.
It’s a given you know how to use Microsoft Office. Mention it somewhere in your experience section with context so you’re awarded the keyword.
But don’t waste the prime real estate on the top of your resumé with it. There should be other skills and accomplishments more important to this job than knowing MS Office.
Outdated Design #4 Walls of text
Poorly formatted resumés have everything crammed up together. Split your content using paragraphs and bullet points.
As a guideline, every paragraph or bullet point should not exceed three lines.
Outdated Design #5 There is “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom
This is a given. The reader already knows you will have references.
You don’t have to waste resumé space on this outdated statement. You’re better off using that space to expand on your experience or qualifications and get more points for keywords.
Keep these 5 outdated design points in mind when revamping your resumé.
You’re well on your way to creating a high-converting resumé that turns job applications to job interviews.