Your resume is one of the more important documents for your job search so it stands to reason that it can be one of the deciding factors in whether or not you get an interview. Big mistakes like careless typos will obviously be damaging to your chances, but the little mistakes — the ones that might not be very obvious — can also cost you.
If you are getting only radio silence from employers when you submit your job applications, it might be time to make some serious edits to your resume. The first thing you will want to look at is your e-mail address. Is it professional-sounding or are you using that “funny” one you had since high school? If it’s the latter, you are going to want to create a new address that doesn’t make you seem childish. Something like FirstNameLastName@gmail.com will work just fine.
Here are seven other resume edits you need to make to give you the best chance at success:
- Remove your hobbies. Unless you have a hobby that is relevant to the job, including what you do in your spare time will only make it likely that you could be removed from consideration if it is determine what you do in your free time could distract from your work. Although it’s illegal for organizations to make decisions based on personal information, some do it anyway.
- Be accurate with your dates. An innocent guesstimate of the time period in which you worked at a job can be construed as lying if a background check reveals different dates than what you listed on your resume.
- List accomplishments rather than duties. Employers are less interested in what you did than how your work affected the organization. List some of your biggest accomplishments at your previous jobs to wow your readers.
- Don’t forget your contact information. Sometimes you can lose track of the basics when you spend so much time worrying about other issues with your resume. Remember to include your e-mail address, phone number(s), and other ways for employers to get in touch with you.
- Give yourself credit. Just because you didn’t get paid for work doesn’t mean it wasn’t work. Include any relevant volunteer experience you have. This type of work is especially valued in the nonprofit sector.
- Be consistent. Once you choose a style for your resume you need to stick with it the whole way. For example, don’t switch to numbered lists if you started with bullet points.
- Don’t try to impress. Rather than going for the home run by using fancy fonts and colors, use a simple yet attractive layout. This is much more pleasing to the eye and will also take less time to create.