When applying for a new job, regardless of the position, keep in mind that the employer may receive dozens if not hundreds of resumes. Unfortunately, many of those resumes are not written as well as they could be. In many instances, resumes tend to contain the same mistakes. Below are three of the most common resume writing mistakes and how you can fix them easily and quickly.
1. Duty-Driven Resumes
One of the most common mistakes that many job seekers make is writing a duty-driven resume rather than an accomplishments-driven resume. The goal of a resume is always to convince the employer that your qualifications make you the best possible candidate. Under no circumstances should you use such phrases as “job duties included,” “responsible for,” or “responsibilities included.” Such phrases are more suited to job descriptions rather than your accomplishments. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer for a moment. If you were hiring, would you be looking for someone who is only able to perform basic job responsibilities or someone with a proven history of accomplishments? The best approach is to customize your resume and truly make it your own by focusing on challenges you may have helped previous employers overcome. Remember to focus specifically on how employers have benefited from your past performance, such as money saved, time saved, solving specific problems, increasing sales, attracting new customers, etc.
2. Lack of Keywords
The job market has changed significantly in the last few years. As a result, it is now imperative for your resume to include the use of strategic keywords. Unfortunately, many job seekers continue to overlook the importance of this strategy, and it could cost you the chance at an interview. Many employers have begun to rely on keyword-searchable databases. Ultimately, this means that if you apply for a job with an organization that searches databases for keywords and your resume does not contain the correct keywords, you could end up losing out to the competition. Make sure you are taking advantage of every available opportunity by including the use of keywords in your resume.
3. Listing References Directly on the Resume
Many years ago, job seekers often listed their references directly on their resume. Unfortunately, this practice continues today. References should only be listed when requested by an employer. When an employer does request references, they should be provided on a separate sheet. In addition, avoid the use of the phrase “References available upon request.” It is automatically assumed that if you are asked to provide references, you will do so. After all, if you are not able to provide references, there’s not much chance that you will receive a job offer. In the end, it is better to just skip it and conserve the space on your resume that can be used for something more productive, such as your accomplishments and/or qualifications.