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Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Resume

You want to change your job or you’ve just graduated and are looking for the first job offer. There are lots of options in the market, but you hesitate to send your curriculum vitae (CV), as you are afraid you are not good enough.

Or you send a CV to everyone and don’t get any response you were hoping for.

Here is a list of the most common mistakes in resumes to avoid. They will come in handy both for young specialists and those who have enough working experience:

Mistake #1: Your Resume is Too Long or Too Short

A CV normally should not be longer than one 1.5 spaced page.

If you write a long story in a free writing form about how your life was going for the last decade, no one will read it. Even if it is an amazing story, HR specialists will just never read it.

However, if you cut it too short, you will just not give them a chance to get interested in you as a potential candidate.

So, maintain the standard length of the CV and don’t overdo it.

There are moments when you need to be creative, and there are situations in which you should better follow the rules.

Mistake #2: Your Resume is Too Creative or Completely Boring

First of all, unlike with the length of your resume, there are no specific requirements regarding how creative your CV should be. This is a problem because there is always room for mistakes.

Well, you should, first of all, think about the target audience you want to hit. Do they expect you to be creative?

You have probably heard about all those candidates, who send cookies with their names to HR specialists or make some creative flash-mobs to attract attention.

Though it looks fun in the article you read in a coffee-line, it doesn’t matter that it is a suitable way to apply for any job.

If you are a candidate for a creative writer position in a PR agency, there is a chance that extra creativity will pay off, but if you are looking for a position in a solicitors firm, you will just scare them away.

Mistake #3. You List the Obvious or Use Too Many Clichés

Capable of working in a high-stress environment, friendly, leadership skills, ability to adapt — all these claims sound so boring that HR specialists just see it as white noise, just zone them out.

You will never impress anyone just listing top-10 picks for a description of a character for a resume.

Think of something more custom-made and also descriptive and appropriate in relation to a particular position.

For example, instead of using the phrase “leadership skills”, try “can manage a team of 5 without failed deadlines and conflicts within the group”.

If you have no idea how to attract an employer’s attention by using language that piques their interest, you could opt to have someone write a quality resume for you.

Mistake #4: You Ignore Specific Requirements

All too often, people send off a generic resume listing the same information such as education and salary expectations. They don’t both to customize their CV’s for a position’s specific requirements and instructions.

It can work if you are looking to take a starting position. However, if it is something more advanced than working in a basic call center, you have to pay attention to extra requirements.

If you are asked to mention only RELEVANT working experience then please, do so, but don’t mention all the work you have done since the teenage years.

Mistake #5. Your Writing is Bad

Yes, it is not an essay nor a research paper and it is not a novel either. However, a CV still has to be an example of a decent level of writing.

There should be no spelling mistakes, no awkward phrases and slang. Some professional jargon may be suitable, but only in a very limited amount.

HR specialists keep saying that even if they like the candidate, but the resume is full of mistakes and omissions, they don’t offer an interview because no one wants to deal with the results of sloppy work.

Your resume tells a lot about who you are, not only because it lists your experience or education.

When you just start writing a resume, you may feel like it will take just 20 minutes to list your previous places of work and years of education, but pretty soon you realize that there is much more to this job.

It is up to you whether to deal with it on your own, or to seek help, but you have to come up with a flawless CV to attract HR’s attention.

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