In order to stand out during a job search (particularly during a time when many other people are on the hunt too), a young professional needs a killer resume that is perfectly crafted and proofed. Even talented and enthusiastic millennials can hurt their chances of landing their dream job when they make some of these common resume mistakes:
Adding irrelevant information
Hiring managers are busy and don’t have time to review a resume that is pages and pages long. Keep it short and sweet by removing any information that may be irrelevant. Adding high school awards or mentioning summer camp experiences is just not necessary for a young professional. It is also smart to avoid listing hobbies on a resume, unless these hobbies are noteworthy and of importance for that person’s chosen field. The hiring manager doesn’t care how you spend your spare time; they want to know what you can do in the office.
The most effective resumes focus on a few internship or extracurricular experiences that have helped that millennial become prepared to take on a full-time job. Swap out the mention of water-skiing for a bullet point about a recent summer internship to make the document more powerful and streamlined.
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Don’t get wordy
Many young job seekers feel that they have to go overboard when it comes to explaining their qualifications. It’s important to remember that excessive adjectives don’t make you more qualified, rather your experience does. When describing skills and experience, keep it simple. The resume should be easy to understand, and shouldn’t require a dictionary to decipher its meaning.
A simple misuse of “its” and “it’s” doesn’t matter to a hiring manager, right? Wrong. A resume is an example of the work that individual will do should they become a member of that company. Therefore, a person who makes sloppy grammatical or spelling errors is essentially telling a potential employer that they can’t be bothered to check their own work, and probably won’t start doing so anytime soon. This is a major red flag for hiring mangers, and will quickly get your resume tossed to the “thanks but no thanks” pile.
To avoid this situation, it is important to read and reread your resume. When you’re done doing that, give it to a trusted friend, family member, or professor to look at. After looking at one document for hours on end, it’s easy to start to skim over mistakes. An extra set of eyes helps to catch any small errors before they cause you to make a bad impression on a hiring manager.
Develop it fully
Space is limited when it comes to resume writing, so a job seeker should choose their words carefully. Instead of listing out every internship, part-time job, and hobby you’ve had, focus on a few relevant experiences that show that you’re qualified to work in your chosen field. Think about it: an advertisement doesn’t just simply list the qualities that the product has. It helps to give you a detailed picture about why you’d benefit from purchasing that item. A resume should work the same way. Flesh out the document carefully. Details about what you did during your summer internship are far more powerful than a bulleted list of your high school activities. Use full sentences to illustrate your skills and abilities. This helps to show why you’d be a valuable member of a team.
In order to prove most effective, resumes should also be revised regularly. If you learn a new skill, join another club, or take an additional internship, don’t forget to make mention of these things.