You've finally decided that it's time for a job search. Whether you're relocating, trying to advance your career, or just ready for a change, a top-notch resume would be your first gate-pass to achieve your coveted position. Laszlo Bock, former Google Vice President, shared the most common resume mistakes he saw in his review of over 20,000 resumes during his tenure at Google.
From the obvious like spell-checking to confidentiality concerns, here are some simple but useful tips to observe when creating your resume.
1. Lying is never an option.
Let's start with the most serious of all resume offenses: lying. First of all, lying is unethical, and no company would want to add a dishonest team member to its staff. No circumstance makes lying reasonable, no matter how trivial the lie may seem. From grade point average to experience, all facts need to be accurate. Not being hired or being fired is only one consequence when the lie is discovered. Remember, your reputation may also be at stake.
2. Keep client confidentiality.
Recall the commitments you've made to past employers regarding confidentiality, like the ones involving business deals consultants or contractors. Do not disclose the names of companies you've provided confidential services for. Avoid details or hints that may make it easy for the resume reviewer to identify the company. Employers have a keen eye and will know if you have violated confidentiality, which may lead to a denied resume straight away.
3. A clean format helps with readability.
Before the reviewer reads the words on your resume, they first pay attention to how it looks and if it's pleasing to the eye. Allot enough white space, and avoid overcrowding your resume with text. Avoid using colored paper and colored ink to keep it neat and presentable. It's recommended to stick to black print on white paper for readability. Every page must also have your name and contact information. To preserve all your effort in formatting your resume, save it as a PDF file before emailing or uploading it. Messiness isn't the reason you'd want hiring managers to set aside your resume.
4. Mind the length.
The rule used to be: "Keep resumes within one page." Now, the more reasonable length would be one page for every 10 years of experience. Remember, the goal is to get an interview. While a resume can get your foot through the door, there's no need to overshare your experiences. Focus on highlighting your major accomplishments in each role you held and make them specific, relevant, and easily digestible. Don't be fooled into thinking that the reviewer is going to read every word. Studies have shown that they only read the introduction, about half the middle, and half of the end. Once you've been invited to interview, the resume only becomes supplementary.
5. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes.
You're well-educated and want to display professionalism. But if your resume has spelling and grammar mistakes, it's not representative of your image and branding. The best way to avoid typos is not only to proofread on your own but to have multiple people, such as family, friends, and colleagues, correct it, too. Another tactic is to write a draft and put it away. Then, revisit it with fresh eyes and read it from bottom to top to catch errors. Typos reflect a lack of attention to detail, and most hiring managers seek a detail-oriented team member.
How ICS Can Help
Avoiding these five most common mistakes can help ensure your resume receives the attention it deserves. ICS will help you make the connections you need to find your ideal position. We ensure that your first impression is your best one and would be your greatest asset when negotiating your new job! Click below to begin your job search.