Creating and updating your resume doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. Even if you’re avoiding cringe-worthy mistakes, like using poor grammar or outdated fonts, there are a few contemporary dos and don’ts of resume writing you should keep in mind. But don’t howl at the moon just yet! You won’t need to conjure any hocus-pocus or supernatural powers to make sure your resume sets you up for success!
By avoiding these four ghostly mistakes, you can keep your resume looking spooktacular all year round!
1. Abandoning ATS-Friendly Formatting to The Abyss
In the age of artificial intelligence, resume formatting is everything when applying for jobs online. Your resume gets scanned by software for keywords and terms that fit the job you’re applying for. It’s critical to tailor your resume to the exact job for which you’re applying. But designing an ATS-compliant (applicant tracking system) resume isn’t as hair-raising as it sounds. With a few formatting tweaks––like incorporating resume keywords––you can make your resume more searchable for hiring managers and recruiters.
ATS formatting also ensures that a company or job site appropriately imports your resume’s content into a digital applicant profile. If the content of your resume is jumbled or formatted poorly, it’ll most likely receive a pass, even if you’re the most qualified applicant. If you’re not sure where to start, ATS resume templates are available online.
2. Sending a Ghoulishly Wrong Attachment or Cover Letter
Not much in life is more horrifying than emailing a recruiter or hiring manager to apply for your dream job, only to realize that you sent the wrong attachment. Maybe instead of your current resume, you attached an older, incomplete version. Or just as frightening, maybe you sent a cover letter you wrote for a previous application with a different company.
When saving various versions of your resume and cover letter, make sure all your file names clearly identify the document specifics. To further limit mix-ups, consider including the year (and even month) that you updated your resume in the file name. For cover letters, include the recipient company in the file when saving the document.
Have gaps in your resume? Here’s how to address resume gaps and still get hired.
Are you using the same resume for every job application? Well, there’s a good reason why you shouldn’t be. Using a generic resume, rather than personalizing your resume for each application, doesn’t allow you to showcase your skills and experience in a way that’s relevant to each position.
If irrelevant job skills are crowding out the relevant ones, your resume may get overlooked. Even if your skills for a particular position are limited, you can instead highlight experience and achievements that could make you successful in the role.
4. Leaving Your Professional Profile in the Shadows
While providing career objectives in your resume gives the prospective employer insight into your personal goals, the objectives might not necessarily create a picture of how you can complement the company’s vision and effectively fill the role. A professional profile takes your objectives and clearly defines how achieving your goals correlates to fulfilling the role and growing the business.
Fortunately, these spine-chilling resume mistakes are easy to correct. Invest a little time and effort in applying the dos and don’ts of resume writing and fill your job hunt journey with all treats, and no tricks.
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