As an experienced Recruiter and Resume Writer when it comes to CV’s/resumes I really have seen the good, the bad and the extremely ugly.
Whilst resumes should have personality, there are some very common mistakes that people make, often either because they don’t know the effect of these mistakes or because they are simply lazy. Let’s face it, writing your resume can be a chore!
The importance of a resume, however, is immense. Essentially it is what sells you to the company and convinces them why they should meet you over the hundreds of other resumes they get. For the majority of roles I have recruited for I have received anywhere from a minimum of 50 CVs to sometimes well over 250 – 300, so taking the time to ensure you are looking your best on paper is of the utmost importance!
The top 5 most common mistakes I see are –
1) Length – This naturally needs to vary depending on skill set, role, industry, location etc. If your resume is 7 – 10 + pages, it is way too long (think no more than 4 pages really). As mentioned Recruiters/Hiring Managers review multiple CV’s so they simply won’t have time to read your 10 page document in detail.
2) Mismatching font/bullet points/sizes – These types of mistakes come across as sloppy and can give the impression that if you can’t be bother to even fix these how would you be at your work. This is key in roles that require attention to detail.
3) Profile picture – Put simply, this is not needed.
4) Long/wordy descriptions of roles that you filled 10 years ago – The focus of your resume should be on the last 10 – 15 years max. The only time to change this is perhaps if your career has taken a different direction and you are looking to get back to what you have done previously. Other than that the company will only really want to know what you have done recently.
5) Wasted first page/front page – I have seen multiple times people have unimportant information on their first page. The first page is the most important page! This is the page that is going to quickly capture your reader’s attention. It should be sharp and include information such as your role, key specialties and a snapshot of where you have worked. Basically it should only include the things that are going to entice the reader into investing in going to the next page.
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