First impressions last. This is why the resume is very important, for it gives potential employers their first glimpse of who you are. Since the resume is the first thing Human Resources people look at when considering applications, a mistake in your resume can be fatal to your employment hopes. So, whether you’re a fresh graduate looking for your first job or an already-experienced worker jumping to another company, it pays to know these common mistakes:
1. Including Irrelevant Details.
This involves listing down old achievements and personal information. This also includes other details that have no connection with your application. So please, don’t include your religion in your resume, since it only has a minor connection with your application. Besides, the employer may ask you to include it in your application form anyway, but only to see if you can report to work on certain days.
Always consider the job you’re applying for. The rule of thumb for including past achievements is that they must only be 1-4 years old. However, if your achievement is being a bar or board topnotcher, it does not fall under the 1-4 year rule, for these exams are licensure exams. For fresh graduates, high school achievements are usually irrelevant, unless you are applying to teach in your old high school.
However, it is safe to include the papers you presented in academic conferences, as well as the overseas seminars you attended, since it shows the potential employer how well-travelled you are, especially if you are applying for a research job.
2. Informal Email.
It might not be obvious for some, but employers are particular with the email address that you include in your resume. By all means, do not use informal email addresses (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) as these don’t look professional. Create a more professional email if needed. If you don’t want to create a new email, then feel free to use your school email, especially if your alma mater allows you to keep that email for life.
TIP: Dear students,when creating a personal email address, make sure that it looks as professional as possible, so when you apply for work, you won’t need to go through the trouble of making a new one. Remember, it can be stressful to check multiple email accounts.
3. Grammar and Spelling Errors.
The presence of grammar and spelling errors in your resume say a lot about you, from your professionalism to your proficiency in writing. Make it a point to read through your resume and run a spell-checker to ensure that your resume is free from these kinds of errors.
TIP: Ask your friends and family to read your resume so they can check for inconsistencies and advise you on how to improve it. Spell-checkers can make mistakes, so it is best to have multiple eyes look at your resume.
4. Making Your Resume Lengthy
Some may think that a lengthy resume will get them hired, since the longer their resume is, the more achievements they have. This is not true, because Human Resources personnel are processing a lot of job applications, so they won’t have time to read your lengthy resume. So, please keep your resume to a page or two, so that you can ensure that the HR people can read your resume. This is also why you have to remove irrelevant information, since they end up padding your resume, and these won’t help your case.
5. Not Updating Your Resume
Sometimes, due to lack of time, people fail to update their resume, especially if they plan to change jobs. This is a mistake because it can be construed as misrepresentation, and can kill your chances to get employed. So please, make sure your resume is always up to date.
TIP: As soon as you get hired, incorporate your new job into your resume so that when it is time to change career paths, you won’t be stressed when you have to update your resume.
Edited, Revised, and Updated by Daniel Francisco P. Del Rosario 10/19/19