mistakesPreparing your resume can be one of the most important steps in the job application. This is not only because it is what is needed to apply for the job, but is often the first thing an employer looks at. There are a few mistakes that are commonly made on resumes that can be surefire ways to make the employer toss your resume out before even fully considering you.

1.) The first, most common, mistake people make on their resumes that will cost them the job is grammar and spelling errors. While it might seem like you can just run the spell checker on your word processing program to prevent spelling errors, this is not always the case. Many times these spell checkers miss words that are spelled correctly but do not fit into the sentence properly or are not the word you meant to use. For example if you meant to say: “Worked for three years as a manager,” but you typed “Worked thee years as a manager,” the spell checker would generally not pick up on that. As a note, in this same example, the grammar checker did not pick up the error either. This is why it is so important to read and reread your resume before sending it off. These errors not only look sloppy and lazy, but the employer may see this as you not caring enough about the job to take the time to check your resume.

2.) The second mistake people make is not tailoring their resume for each job they apply for. You might have crafted an exquisite resume, with no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes but as the person reviewing it notices you put emphasis on your work in previous accounting positions, but the position you’re applying for is in recruitment. While you might also have experience in recruitment, your resume was tailored for another objective. Another mistake in the same vein that many people make on their resumes is making a generic resume and sending it out to all the companies that might have positions in your field. This tactic is not as effective as it might seem, because when the employer looks at the resume they can tell it is generic as it makes no specific mentions of their company and what you can offer for that specific position. By tailoring your resume specifically for each company you apply with, you are showing that you have taken the time to research the company and really show them why you’re a good fit for their position.

3.) The third common mistake people make when writing up their resume is including too many personal details and “fluff.” This fluff often comes across as desperate or completely fake. Many employers also see those fluff words or descriptions, like “innovative thinking” or “doer not a dreamer” or “dedicated, loyal worker,” as a way to fill in the gaps for work experience or skills you don’t have that are required for the job. If you’re going to use descriptive words or phrases to describe your work ethic or personality, you have to make sure they are related to the job you’re applying for and write them that way. Other “fluff” elements might include accomplishments that have nothing to do with the skill set needed for the position you are applying for or outdated computer knowledge or other skills. As a final tip, it is a good idea to never include information about your marital status, political or religious affiliations, age or the number of children you have.

4.) The last mistake people make when creating their resume is having poor design or layout in their resume. Did you know that 50% of the impact your resume has comes from the design and layout? This means your resume could get thrown out of a prospective employers stack just because it doesn’t look good! You do not want your resume to be overly designed with lots of lines and different font types and sizes. The key is to making an streamlined resume that is easy to follow and highlights your strengths and skills that make you seem like the best choice for the position. derives from design.  A disorganized resume is a sure fire way to frustrate the person reading it and have it thrown in the trash, along with any chance you had to score an interview.

One thing many employers complain about is the fancy resume templates you can choose from in Word, or other word processing programs. They don’t like them because they often use too many different font types and sizes, lines and fields that are not needed. Besides, if you’ve ever worked on a resume in Word, you know how frustrating it can be to get rid of unwanted fields and lines and make fonts the right size to look more uniform. The best way to get a streamlined resume is by using an online resume builder such as Resume BuilderOnline.org or CVMKR.com. What’s even better about these is that these and many others are free, and one in particular, OpenResumeBuilder.com, even converts your information into a Word document for you so you can send it off to prospective employers.

Keep these pointers in mind when preparing and proofreading your resume and you are sure to increase your chances of nabbing that coveted interview. Best of luck!

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