Common Resume Mistakes You're Probably Making and How to Fix Them
Working at my campus Career Center I’ve seen all kinds of resumes - the good, the bad and the ugly. Although every resume I see is different there are a lot of mistakes I see repeated. Here are the most frequent ones and how to correct them! Note: These are tips specifically for college students, your resume will be different at different stages of your life and these tips may not always apply!
Your formatting is out of whack - Employers sometimes spend only three seconds on your resume. That’s right, three. They’re looking for any excuse to cut you and make their pile smaller. That means if your resume isn’t easy to read, clean and polished, you won’t make the cut. Make sure your spacing is consistent, your bullet points are all the same size and every line ends at the same point. If an employer or hiring manager isn't thrown off by your formatting they'll be able to focus on what you're actually saying.
Your experiences all show the same skills - Every experience should bring something different to your resume. If you had two similar internships you should still try and vary your bullet points to show different skills you learned that you can utilize in the job you’re applying to. On the same note, vary your leading verbs. Not every sentence should start with "researched" or "analyzed" - switch it up!
You included a summary or objective - You are a college student, looking for a job or internship. Every position you’re applying to will know that. You have limited space (your resume should be one page and not a sentence more) so don’t waste it telling an employer what they already know. Instead use that space to showcase your experiences, from volunteer work to internship to part time jobs.
You’re discounting your part time jobs - Believe it or not employers love to see those part-time bus boy, waitress and retail jobs. Jobs can show your work ethic, your ability to work with a team, work under management, and in general just show that you’ve had work experience. Include them and make them shine, really show what you gained from those experiences.
You're not tailoring your resume - One of my top pieces of advice is to have a master resume with all of your experiences written out. For every job you apply to, choose the parts of your resume that align best with what that employer is looking for. For example, for a job in the fashion industry, your part time retail experience will be important, but if the company you're applying to values community service, showing the volunteer work you've done will show them that your values align with their own.
Do you have any other resume tips or questions about resumes? Respond in the comments below!