Fix common resume mistakes to improve your employment outlook

07.16.2013


Fix common resume mistakes to improve your employment outlook
Fix common resume mistakes to improve your employment outlook

It pays to be careful when sending a resume out to prospective employers. The tiniest mistake, if noticed, could land your resume in the trash or recycling, putting you out of contention even before you've been fairly considered.

An imperfect resume isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but many of the most common flaws with resumes can easily be fixed if you know what to look for. Always focusing on skills you've learned and excel at, rather than the positions you've held, is one tip advised by The Week. Even if you don't necessarily have experience for a job you're looking for, it's quite possible to assess the jobs you've held in the past and determine which experiences you had that may translate well in another field.

If your college career doesn't seem like it applies to a position you think you'd be great for, don't assume you can't get the job. Some industries don't even require degrees directly related to their positions, with companies willing to try employees who are able to learn and develop in their field. Highlighting skills that transfer to any job, and being creative with how you order your information by listing relevant experiences first, can help you out in getting a foot in the door.

Cutting down your resume
Many people don't know how long their resume should be, and end up listing years of experience that simply isn't significant to the job they're applying for. To fix this common problem, focusing on only the most important information is key, keeping only the bare minimum of information on there for other jobs. And if you're upfront about them, jobs you held for only short periods of time can be omitted.

If you've been unemployed for a long period of time or have frequently gone from job to job, using a resume format that focuses on skills first and periods of time second can work, as can honestly explaining the situations that arose (if a company closed while you were there, for instance). As long as you address periods of unemployment or instability, employers will be more likely to give you a break.

Looking to stand out from the crowd? It's risky, but using a visual resume can catch an employer's eye. Whether it's by creating your own infographic explaining why you're a catch or even sending a video, some fields like graphic design or video production will love to see an original approach to the job hunt.

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