This week we are going to build upon last weeks entry as we have received a couple of questions regarding more specific do's and don'ts. In this entry we will stay away from the general mistakes (lacking focus, achievements hidden) and focus instead on particular mistakes.
Here are 3 mistakes people commonly make on their resume's that they didn't know were mistakes.
1. Including a Picture
At Carlyn we have heard many different reasons for including a picture on a resume: "I have a professional look," "If I could ever just get in front of people they'd hire me" or "I want to personalize my resume." Unfortunately pictures do more harm than good for two reasons.
a) A resume is a professional document. It is not a Facebook profile. Companies are looking for people who understand what it means to be professional.
b) Remember the purpose of your resume is to get an interview. By adding a picture you are potentially making yourself vulnerable to the biases of resume screeners. Maybe the first person to see your resume had a bad relationship with a man with dimples. Have dimples? Into the garbage your resume goes.
2. Spelling Mistakes
No spelling mistakes! Especially if it is bolded or a heading.
One of the most common ones we see at Carlyn is "Referee's available upon request." Yep, you were going for Re-Fer-Ee's but guess what, John the resume screener read it as Ref-Er-Ee's. Don't get too smart, references is fine. Truthfully in this day and age it is a given you are going to need to provide references, so if you're tight on space, feel free to leave it off completely.
3. Too Long
As mentioned previously in the last post, length can also do more harm than good. A 5 page resume does not say "I have a long and extensive career in this field" to the screener or hiring manager. What it actually says to them is "I have a history of short employment tenures and I really like to talk about myself." Neither message is one you want to send. Your resume should never go back more than 15 years or 5 positions. Keep it to 3 pages at the most.