You could be perfect for a job but that won’t matter if the hiring manager never even gets around to opening your resume. While we’ve already written about how to make your resume work for you, there are some tiny but common mistakes and oversights that can grate on your recruiter’s nerves and stop them from even opening that all-important attachment. So here is your check-list of the things you need to watch out for before you hit ‘send’.
Use a simple font
You want to stand out and be remembered, but not for the wrong reasons. Don’t irritate your reader by using too many fonts, colours or formatting on your resume. Remember, you have a very tiny window of time to impress them when they open your resume, don’t waste it by making it difficult to follow what you want to say. A formal font in 11 or 12 points, black works best.
This is a bit tedious to do, but will be worth your while if you really want a job. Take the time to edit and add to your resume to highlight those skills and experiences that a particular job or company needs. Remove those parts that add no value, so you have a bit of room to expand on the parts that do. Since the real estate here is limited – a resume shouldn’t be more than one A4 page, or two, tops, make use of what is available to you with care. But a word of caution here: while customising is good, lying is not. Don’t fib about skills you don’t have or take credit for things you haven’t done. Chances are, you’ll fumble on being questioned and end up looking foolish. Not to mention, it might get you blacklisted from the company altogether.
No typos, please
It’s almost offensive when people can’t even be bothered to run a simple spell-check on their resumes. Not to mention that it makes the applicant come across as lazy, sloppy and not at all detail-oriented. You honestly cannot expect to stay in the race for a job when you send a resume with grammatical errors. Double and triple check for spelling mistakes and typos before sending over your resume to a potential boss.
Always send a cover letter
No matter how many resumes you’ve sent out or how tired you are, this is a step you cannot forego. Keep it pleasant, but short, simple and concise. Most hiring managers receive so many emails and unsolicited resumes, unless you make the time to write a good cover-letter, you can make sure they’re not going to bother opening it. What’s the point of being talented and hard-working if your resume is not even going to be opened?
No silly email addresses
PrincessXYZ at something dot com, or DaddysLittleGirl at something else dot com might have been okay when you were a teenager or on your Instagram, but they look immature on your resume. If you don’t already have one, make a simple first name-last name email address for all official correspondence and applications. And make sure you monitor it regularly, even if you use the other one for everything else.