“A good first impression can work wonders.” — J. K. Rowling
I open with a quote from J.K. Rowling, not just because I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan, but because it’s extremely applicable to the job search process. We all know that first impressions aren’t lasting, and it’s perfectly possible to recover from a bad first impression – but – imagine how much easier things could be with a great first impression.
Your resume really is your first introduction to a prospective employer, so it’s important to present yourself well. Here are three common resume mistakes we’ve come across, and how we advised candidates fix them:
- Problem: You used the same resume over and over again.
Though two jobs may share the same title, no two are identical. Reusing the same resume time and again is not the most effective way to reach recruiting managers for the position you’re applying.
Solution: Customize each resume for each job you apply to.
The easiest way to do this is to use the same language used within the job listing itself. As an example, if “project management” is listed as an experience requirement and your resume says “managing projects,” change your language around to mirror their ideal candidate’s experience.
- Problem: Your resume doesn’t have any teeth.
A reported 36% of applicants submit a resume that is extremely vague, not giving employers any idea of the exact kind of experience they have.
Solution: Use data and project details to illustrate your success.
Numbers talk, and including them on your resume gives employers a data-driven analysis of exactly what you could bring to their organization. Find ways to quantify what you’ve previously contributed to the companies you’ve worked for.
- Problem: You’ve stretched the truth a little too far.
Whether you rounded your GPA up a couple of points or claimed one more direct report than you actually had, prospective employers can, and often, will find out.
Solution: Be honest.
Save yourself the embarrassment of getting caught in a lie and be completely transparent from the beginning. You’ll gain trust from your audience and may have just the level of experience the hiring manager is looking for.
Want more help with your resume? Enroll in a resume writing course today!