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Five Resume Mistakes to Avoid
Tired of sending out resume after resume with no results? You may be making some major resume mistakes and not even know it. For every 10 resumes that you send out, you should be getting at least one interview. Not happening for you? You probably need to learn what mistakes to avoid. Here are the top five resume "uh oh's" that many jobseekers make:
- It's nothing special
Not knocking your skills here, but rather the appearance of your resume. Recruiters and employers see A LOT of resumes and if yours looks like the rest of them, they're probably just going to skip it before their eyes glaze over again. BUT, if you use a less common resume color (not hot pink or bright green, something muted and professional!) then you'll make them curious and they'll want to read more. Try a light purple or yellow, even a very light gray can be eye catching. If your resume is nothing special to look at, you're probably not either- so show them how unique and different you are by changing it up a little.
- You're using snail mail
Regular mail gets your resume where it needs to be, but in this day and age most people email. BUT, if you really want to stand out, you've got to step it up and demand some attention be paid to your resume. Try sending your resume to a few places that you truly want to work as certified mail. Usually, when an important package arrives, it doesn't go through the normal avenues and you won't be grouped in with a bunch of other resumes. You'll probably ensure that your resume goes straight to the hiring manager.
- You're not networking enough or using your connections
Think about who you know in the industry that you're trying to get a job in. Do you know anyone on the inside? If not, you better start making friends. Join groups on social networking websites like Facebook to meet people who do what you want to- and who ultimately might be able to get you a job. Already know someone? Ask them if they can put in a good word for you and give them a copy of your resume. You should still send it to the hiring manager, but knowing someone in the business or company always helps.
- You're not being creative enough
Resume.... Blah blah blah... resume... Blah blah blah... Oh, a pizza with a resume taped to the top of the box! How many times do you think an employer comes across something like this? Odds are, not too often, so getting a little creative with your resume delivery, perhaps in the form of a gift, is going to get you noticed and make you memorable. So be creative and send a little gift with your resume that is going to make them not only remember you, but actually read your resume and hopefully call you!
- You're not singing yourself praises, discreetly
Of course your resume and possible cover letter are supposed to do this. But that's in your face advertising about what kind of skills you have and the usual 411. And it's coming from you. Trying something a little sneaky, like tacking a post-it that says something positive like "What a great find!" onto the front of your resume could help you stand out. Because most resumes travel through a few different hands before landing in the right ones, it will most likely look like someone saw your goodies and was compelled to point you out to the rest.
If you're guilty of making these common resume mistakes, don't beat yourself up too much. Just change your approach and put these tips into action. Then, rather than wondering what went wrong, you will know what you did right!
Landon Long is the founder of InterviewMastermind.com and a recognized expert on the topic of psychology-based job interview tips for job seekers all over the world. If you are jobless and want to learn more about writing a good resume, here are 3 Savvy Tricks Most Candidates Miss!
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