Many of us are guilty of making ineffective edits to our resumes, or we simply don’t update them often enough. Overhauling a resume at least once a year not only keeps information fresh, but gives us the chance to evaluate our career progress over time. But how can you tell if your resume needs a redo?
If You’ve Ignored Key Writing Details
Details like matching your cover letter font to your resume font looks cleaner and more thorough to employers. Always address the cover letter specifically to the recruiter rather than the impersonal “sir,” “madam,” or “to whom it may concern.” Also, make sure your spelling is on point. It helps to have as many people as possible read your resume to catch not only typos, but to catch simple writing errors like using if when you meant to put of. Call on friends and family to help you out. Your “editors” don’t need fancy proofreading skills--just a fresh set of eyes. Finally, make sure your margins aren’t askew. Strange margins and templates can make it hard for employers to read or print your resume, taking you out of the running immediately.
If You’ve Your Resume Has A Headshot
Most of the time headshots have no place on a resume. Including your photo can lead to subconscious bias on the part of the recruiter since it usually reveals your age and ethnicity. Leave it out unless you need one for your industry (such as modelling or entertainment) or if you need to include one on a curriculum vitae for international jobs.
If You Still Start With The Age-Old “Objective” Statement
Generic-sounding objective statements may seem like a standard part of a resume, but most recruiters find them bland and old-fashioned. Replace your objective statement with a brief, catchy elevator pitch. The elevator pitch should concisely state what you’re best at, what you’re interested in working on, and specifically how you can bring value to the firm. Keep it short and sweet; just a few sentences will do.
Your Email Address Is Inappropriate
It should go without saying, but email names like “TeenieBikini49” are immature and unprofessional. Even addresses like “GardeningLover@live.com” may seem appropriate, but are still best used for friends and family since they can be a deterrent and a distraction to employers. Addresses like these give the impression that you do not take yourself or your job search seriously. Instead, create a simple gmail or yahoo account using only your first and last name. It’s free and easy, and can be done on the time it takes to order your morning coffee. An ideal email address is simple and calls little to no attention your personality. Wait for the interview to let your charm and charisma stand out.
Your Resume Ends With A “References Upon Request” Line
Simply leave this portion out. Employers know that you’ll provide this information if they ask for it.
If You’ve Chosen Unique Fonts Or Colors
Stick to classic fonts as such Calibri or Arial when composing your resume. A clean, timeless look creates minimal distraction and makes it easier for recruiters to read. These fonts are also more foolproof when it comes to uploading your documents into resume management databases. Additionally, resist the temptation to incorporate colors or decorative layouts. Instead, let your artistic side shine through when you showcase your talents, such as when you are asked to provide a portfolio of work samples. Elaborate colors and fonts can sometimes be more appropriate in a creative industry, but you still need to provide a clean looking resume that is easily uploaded and quick to read.