When is the last time you updated your resume? Have you even opened that file on your computer this year? Recruiting and job market trends are constantly changing, and your resume needs to keep up.
If the last time you updated or edited your resume was in high school, there are several mistakes that need to be changed before starting your job search. Here are the top five resume writing mistakes on YOUR resume right now.
1. Your Email Address Is Unprofessional
If your email address is anything other than your name and a professional indicator, you should sign up for a new one. If your email address even indicates your age based on numbers, such as your graduation year or your actual age at the time you signed up, it's probably not professional enough.
Did you know that AOL email addresses will negatively age you? Consider signing up with a more modern and public email host like Yahoo, Gmail, or Microsoft (Live/Hotmail).
Have a common name? Try one of these combinations:
- First name and last initial (Ex. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- First initial and last name (Ex. email@example.com)
- First name, last name, and state abbreviation (Ex. johndoeCA@gmail.com)
- First name, last name, and professional identifier (Ex. johndoeMBA@gmail.com)
2. You Start With An Objective
Objective statements always start with "Seeking..." or "To get a job..." and these statements are so ineffective. Employers know what your objective is. Your objective isn't their problem. Consider switching out your outdated and ineffective objective statement with a branding statement or career summary.
A branding statement should briefly identify who you are, your most valuable skills, and how you will help employers achieve THEIR GOALS. This statement can include a summary of qualifications if you have a solid background that will reinforce your career goals too.
A career summary is appropriate for mid-career and late career job seekers. In a career summary, you will want to expand on your branding statement with results that back up your valuable skills and highlights of your success within your career.
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3. You Misuse Bullet Lists
Bullet lists are a wonderful addition to any resume. Too often are bullet lists used too frequently or completely forgotten. When your resume has no bullet lists but only large chunks of information, your resume will be difficult to read. Don't make it so hard for employers to find your accomplishments, your major contributions, or examples of related skills.
On the other side of the spectrum, a resume that looks like one long list of short statements will also be just as difficult to read. Short, task-based statements don't add much to your resume. Consider summarizing your basic tasks and responsibilities in a brief paragraph and then highlight your accomplishments below using a short bullet list.
4. Your Work History Is Just A List
Here's another list you need to rework. The best thing your resume could do is show employers what positive impacts you made for another employer. Why? Employers will grow confident in your ability to bring similar results to their company.
Don't simply list your employer and job title with dates. Take the time to analyze and summarize your experience. What were your typical tasks? What was your primary goal within that role? What changes did your encourage or implement? These are things employers want to know!
5. You Have Typos Everywhere
Stop relying on spell check. Have a friend or family member look over your resume and make sure all of your statements make sense and are free of errors.