Knowing how to write a resume is an important skill for any job seeker. Even if you have the right qualifications, a poorly crafted CV could cost you the job. Here are some of the common mistakes you need to avoid when creating your resume:
Many job seekers make the mistake of simply listing current and previous job duties in their resumes. However, employers are not really interested in what your duties were, but what you accomplished in the process. Focusing on your achievements is what will make you stand out from other applicants. Therefore, be sure to mention how you helped your company to save time, attract new customers, be more competitive, save money, expand the business or retain existing customers. For example, instead of ‘Oversaw the company’s new project’, say ‘Oversaw the company’s new project and grew the customer base by 40%’.
Placing relevant skills at the end
When employers/recruiters look at your CV, they want to see specific skills mentioned that are relevant to the job. However, many job seekers have a habit of placing the ‘skills’ section on the last page of their résumés. This could easily be missed by the reader. To enhance your chances of success, make sure all the required skills are listed in your profile or summary section on the first page. Any other skills can then be mentioned later.
Failing to include keywords
Nowadays, there are many CV and job posting boards that allow job seekers to upload their resumes. Employers usually visit such sites and look for suitable candidates using job-specific keywords. Therefore, you need to ensure that your resume contains specific keywords that will make it easy for you to be found in such databases. The good news is that there are numerous keyword research tools that can help you identify the popular keywords in your industry.
Depending on overused templates
Most job seekers have built their CVs using the same readily available templates. However, the problem with most templates is that they are rigid and not easy to format. If your resume has been created using a template, it is likely to end up looking like those of other candidates. As a result, the employer might get the impression that you lack imagination. Therefore, as much as possible, avoid using templates for creating your CV. If you really want to stand out, consider hiring a professional to create a customized resume design.
Using the wrong electronic format
At times, when you send your CV as an email attachment, it ends up looking different on the other person’s computer. For instance, the fonts might change or the page format could be different. Therefore, be sure to choose the right electronic format for sending your resume. For instance, using a PDF format will ensure that the receiver sees the document exactly as it was formatted.
Charles Mburugu is a Kenyan-based content developer and online marketer who is passionate about technology, small business and ecommerce. With over 5 years experience, he is committed to creating quality, relevant and optimized content that will attract traffic to the client's blog or website.
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