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Resource: Resume Info
5 Common Resume Mistakes & How to Fix Them
Friday, January 13, 2012

Resumes are becoming more and more scrutinized as the competition for jobs gets fiercer. With the growing demand for jobs, recruiters have to find ways to narrow down the candidates by changing the standards and requirements of resumes. They're getting tougher on their expectations and the ones that can keep up with meeting their demands stand better chances of getting through the door. There are mistakes that they can pick out that many don't know they are making, but these are easily fixable.

1) Stating What You Do Best
If what you do best is completely irrelevant to the job, there's no use in mentioning it. You'll only give the reader something to ignore. Simply reciting all your accomplishments without relating them to the job description doesn't give the potential employer anything they can work with. They want to see what you can bring to the table that they can use in their company.

Solution: Only include information and examples that the company is looking for, just carefully go over the job description. If there isn't one, call the company and ask to speak with a secretary. Most will be more than willing to help you and share some tips on what the employer wants from an applicant.

2) Having Just One Resume
Generic resumes get you nowhere. Each and every company, even those within the same industry, are looking for particular things and your resume should address those requirements. But many then wonder, "How am I supposed to write a resume that matches every employer's needs?" Well you don't have to.

Solution: Modify your resume whenever you apply for a position to make it fit the job description. You can create more than one resume if you want to go into more than one field and just change around certin qualifications or accomplishments that will interest the employer most. You always want your resume to be as short and brief as possible. The point is for the reader to get the main points fast and easy.

Another way to approach this to create a master resume with all the information that you can use to cut and paste into the final resume. Templates are always useful in formatting the information in an organized fashion. By showing the potential employer that you're exactly what they're looking for, your phone will be ringing sooner than you think.

3) Walls of Words
Keep paragraphs in essays and out of resumes. Being that you only have so much real estate to work with you want to make every word count without bombarding the page with text. With all the reading recruiters have to do, they're not going to spend any more time on one than another.

Solution: Bullet points are your best friend in resumes. They keep things short and sweet and help you avoid putting in too much fluff. You want to use words that will make an impact, so take time with your resume and make as many drafts as you need.

4) Show Instead of Tell
Pointing out a strenght is one thing but showing how you used it is another. Your resume reflects the judgment calls you have made on yourself. This can also pose a problem to hiring managers as it makes them wonder how much is acutally true or fiction.

Solution: If you really are a good candidate for the job prove it with facts. Someone could easily say that they "generated revenue with creative marketing techniques," but that could mean anything from $1 or $1,000 dollars. Specifics make a huge difference in what the potential employer is able to learn about you. The more detailed you are, the better idea they have.

5) Measuring Your Job Search By Resumes
Of course, the more contacts you make in your job search, the quicker you will find an end to your means. However, simply just submitting a resume doesn't count as making contact. There needs to be more effort behind that. As few as one in every 1,700 resumes sent to companies actually result in a job offer, according to Richard Bolle, authoer or "The Job-Hunter's Survival Guide." In the end, most job seekers become discouraged as resume after resume fails to produce a positive result.

Solution: Evaluate the success of your job search in terms of how many people you actually meet and talk to rather than how many resumes you've sent out. Making contant in person is harder but have substantially higher success rates. You'll keep from feeling hopeless and have a better idea of how much you've actually accomplished.