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5 Resume Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

5 Resume Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

You say you’ve applied to tons of jobs and you’re not getting any interviews. You’ve posted online, you’ve sent resumes through email and snail mail and nothing’s happening. You meet the basic qualifications for these positions, but hiring managers aren’t calling you back for an in-person meeting or even a phone interview.

Someone’s getting these jobs. Why not you?

If you’ve applied to multiple positions you’re qualified for but aren’t getting interviews, there’s most likely a problem with your resume.

Here are five resume mistakes that could cost you an interview. Luckily, they’re easy to fix.

You didn’t proofread your resume

This might be the worst mistake you can make when submitting your resume. Proofreading is more than a quick spell check–you’re looking for grammar mistakes as well as words that spell check won’t catch (their and there, it’s and its). And always make sure you’ve used the right company name in a cover letter or job objective. Use the wrong one and your resume will end up in the trash.

This may sound a little harsh. But think of it this way: your lack of proofreading shows the hiring manager that you weren’t interested enough in the position or the company to put in extra work. What does that tell them about the kind of employee you’d be?

Do whatever it takes to get grammar and spelling right. Read it out loud. Have a friend read it. Read it backward. Your resume should be absolutely error-free.

Your formatting is all over the place

Headings, job titles, bullets, fonts, indentions–these should be consistent throughout your resume. Anything less makes a recruiter have to work harder to figure out if you’re right fit for the position. Make sure your name is in a larger font size and then use boldface, underline and italics (consistently!) to distinguish each section.

You copied your current and previous job descriptions and pasted them into your Experience section

Each job title should include a short description of your position and bullet points that detail what you accomplished while you were there. A job description has too much detail–your resume doesn’t need it. Plus, job descriptions read like corporate-speak and sound awkward when used out of context.

You listed your job tasks instead of your accomplishments

Unless you have an unusual job or were assigned tasks that are not the norm for that kind of position, you don’t need to rehash your daily job duties. Most employers already know what a customer service rep does. Instead, you should include a list of accomplishments for each job. Here’s what that looks like:

Customer Service Representative, ABC Company

Task-focused: Answered phones, routed calls to other employees, handled customer complaints, filled out customer complaint forms.

Results-focused: Increased customer retention by 15% in one year by promptly addressing customer complaints and taking steps to resolve them. Decreased time to resolve customer complaints by 25% by developing a strategy designed to streamline inbound calls and emails.

 

You’re using the same resume for every job posting

Customer Service Rep. Marketing Assistant. Event Coordinator. The same resume should work for all entry-level positions, right? Wrong. Each resume you write should be tailored specifically to the job you’re applying for, even if it’s the same type of position at two different companies.

Go through the job description and notice words the employer uses in the Tasks Required and Skills sections. Do they want someone who’s fluent in Microsoft Excel? List it in your Skills section (if you have that skill–don’t lie). Are they looking for a candidate with the ability to analyze complex data? Make sure one of your bullets lists a time when you analyzed data and what results you achieved.

Time to clean it up…

Don’t let a sloppy resume be the reason recruiters and hiring managers are passing on you. A great resume will improve your chances of making it through to the first round of interviews. Follow these steps to get the basics down and the interviews will come.

For more information on resumes or interviewing or to make an appointment with an OPCD advisor, click here.

 

Getting Your Job Hunt Back on Track
Research, Relevance, Repeat

Getting Your Job Hunt Back on Track
Research, Relevance, Repeat

Image courtesy of pixababy.com

Has your job hunt got you down? Here are some tips to from Julie Jernigan, Director of the University of Dallas’ Office of Personal Career Development, to get your search back on track.

“It can get frustrating if you’re applying to positions and not hearing back,” said Jernigan. “And if you’re not getting interviews, you need to reevaluate how you’re applying and what materials you’re submitting.”

Jernigan says to focus on the 3 Rs–Research, Relevance and Repeat

Research

Look at job hunting websites like indeed.com and higheredjobs.com, but don’t stop there. Go directly to the career sections on the websites of companies for whom you want to work and apply directly.

Read every word of the job description before you apply. In fact, copy and paste it into a text document that you can refer to later if the job posting is removed. Read through all pages of the company’s website and check out their social media and LinkedIn pages.

Jernigan also emphasizes that you must read ALL of your emails. OPCD often sends out job leads from companies that want to hire UD students and grads. You can also sign up for mobile job alerts by clicking here.

Relevance

If you have 75% of the qualifications listed in a job description, then APPLY. Tailor your job description to the qualifications the employer is asking for. That means using strong verbs that show the employer that your experience reflects what the company wants for the position. According to Jernigan, a hiring manager should be able to tell within 6-10 seconds that your experience aligns with the job.

Repeat

Jernigan says that if you are serious about finding a job, you should be applying to 5-10 positions per week: “Realistically, it takes two hours to apply for a job because each resume you use should be different based on the required qualifications of the job.”

To keep track of all your different resumes, Jernigan recommends creating a separate folder on your computer for each job you apply to. In the folder, put the resume and cover letter you used, as well as a text copy of the job description.

Another tip: create a spreadsheet with an entry for each job you apply for. Include the company name, the job title, the contact person, the date you applied.

For help with your job search or your resume, contact the Office of Personal Career Development.