I have worked closely with college students over the past few years and have found that they generally make one of three major mistakes while writing their first resume. There are many different mistakes made while writing resumes, but the three biggest mistakes seen by this author include:
- The resume is too long.
- The resume contains typos.
- The resume is too generic.
Many times while speaking with those involved in the hiring process in many different fields I am told that resumes are often thrown away because they are far too long. Having the job qualifications only matters if they are seen by those in a position to hire. If your resume is too long these qualifications will end up in the trash bin rather than getting you an interview. Studies have shown that more than half of hiring managers prefer a one page resume for a staff position (n.a., 2007, p. 9). The resume should be condensed to the most appropriate material for the specific job being applied for.
One of the quickest ways to show an employer that you either do not care about or are not qualified for a position is to send in a resume with typos. Many times college graduates can be in such a hurry to get their resume out that they do not have someone proof read it or at least proof read it themselves before sending it out. Read through your resume many times before sending it in to make sure that it contains no errors.
Do you feel special when you receive a generic letter that you know thousands of others also received? No, well then make sure not to send every job that you apply to the same resume. When building a resume consider:
- The specific company.
- The specific job.
- How you can fit their needs.
Karin Vergoth (1996) encourages those searching for jobs to, “Tailor your resume to fit the company” (p.14). Make sure that you custom fit your resume to match what the company is looking for. This will ensure that you are putting your best foot forward and enable you to show them why you are the best applicant for the position.
There are many more things to keep in mind, but keeping these three tips in mind will certainly give you a heads up on writing your first resume. Good luck in your job search!
Résumé length: What it should be and why it matters to recruiters. (2007). HR Focus, 84(6), 9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/206802767?accountid=12085
Vergoth, K. (1996, 01). Building a better resume. Psychology Today, 29, 13-14. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/214477486?accountid=12085