Six common resume killers

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Do not underestimate the importance of your resume. It's usually the first thing a recruiter will see about you and while a recruiter can sometimes 'sell' you to an employer based upon what they know about you as a person, they may be less inclined to do so if they know your resume is strewn with errors.

These are the most common mistakes we come across.

1) Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors

Although it may sound obvious, you would be surprised how many resumes we receive containing spelling mistakes and other basic grammatical errors. Although they may not be the end of the world, they are avoidable and imply carelessness - not an impression anyone would want to give to a potential employer.

2) Lack of specifics

When an employer looks at your resume, they need to know exactly what you have achieved in your previous roles and how this is relevant. So, if you were responsible for driving growth in a business, say exactly how you did it and go into specifics on the results achieved. It is a particularly good ideal to include exact dates you have held roles for, all the different roles you have held within the same company, any markets or product exposure and who your internal and/or external stakeholders/clients are. Detailing projects or initiatives you have been involved in alongside your business-as-usual role can also add significant value to a resume.

3) Long sentences and over-elaboration

If you use excessively long words and over-elaborate sentences on your resume, you risk overshadowing your actual achievements. Using bullet points where appropriate helps to add structure, clarity and, most importantly, gives recruiting managers the information they want in an easily digestible format.

4) Photographs, images, color paper and fancy fonts

We've noticed an increasing tendency for candidates to 'jazz' their resumes up by including various additional visual elements, such as photographs of themselves, fancy fonts and other colorful graphical representations. While some people may think this will make their resumes stand out, what it really does is imply style over substance. When employers look at your resume, they want to know about your past achievements and why you are appropriate for their role.

5) Incorrect contact information

Again, it may sound obvious, but people are constantly switching phone numbers and moving home and it's not unheard of for candidates to forget to change these details on their resumes. Nothing is more frustrating for a recruiter than when they have an amazing resume in front of them but are physically unable to get hold of the person concerned.

6) Attempting a 'one size fits all' Resume

Employers that receive generic, 'one size fits all' resumes generally discard them. Most recruiting managers look for tailored resumes explaining exactly why - in terms of achievements and accomplishments in previous roles - that the person is appropriate for the role. If you don't do this, other people applying for the job will.

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