Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.
Brandon Mull, Fablehaven
How right and applicable is the above mentioned quote? There are some mistakes which only you should make yourselves because you will own the learning too. But some mistakes, you should learn from others and not make them as they are not worth losing what you could have got, if you never made them.
Resume is one such thing in which you MUST learn from the mistakes made by others because you might never get a chance to bring back what you lost. You might think that a prospective employer might just think as simple as “Oh! That’s a mistake” but in reality, the impression such mistakes leave are irreversible and fatal for your career.
Although mistakes may be many and various depending upon individual profile but listed below are some of the most common mistakes along with the implication/s they leave on the readers’ minds:
- Typing Mistakes and Grammatical errors
Employer thinks: He does not know how to read or write. Poor Communication Skills, hence, NOT SUITABLE.
Advice: Always Proofread.
- Incomplete information
Education: MBA – from XYZ institute – 2001-2002
Whether the info is wrong or the course is still being pursued?
What’s the specialization?
Any achievements or top grades, distinctions, awards, CGPA?
Advice: Always give all the relevant details. Make a checklist.
MBA – 1 year executive program – from XYZ institute – 2001-2002 – Specialization – Marketing
Dissertation topic: How to make a resume?
Worked as an Intern for 2 months with ABC Company as Marketing Trainee
Submitted report on – How to make a resume
Same goes with work experience.
- Omitting or giving incorrect information
Employer thinks: Nothing. He simply won’t be able to contact you.
Advice: Carefully make a checklist before starting to make a resume. Also proofread.
- Making a General Cover Letter
Employer thinks: You feel nothing special for this job or company.
It may also happen than while applying, you address it to Mr. XYZ while you send it to Mr. ABC
Advice: Always make specific cover letter which shows special interest in a job and the company.
- Making ‘Duties driven’ CV instead of ‘Accomplishment driven’
Job responsibilities: Cost cutting initiatives in procurement
Searched for better vendors
Responsible for Data management
Employer thinks: Has he made any significant contribution/s?
Advice: Employer understands what you could have done in a role. He wants to know what you achieved.
Job responsibilities: Reduced the cost of procurement by 15% in the financial year ending 2012.
Created a strong portfolio of vendors with best quality and rates with excellent capacity to supply in large quantities at short notices.
Reorganized procurement data in a form which is more accessible and easily comprehensible by management and the team.
- Listing of Experience/ Education in Chronological order
Work Experience: XYZ company – 2008-2009 – as Marketing executive
ABC Company – 2009 – 2011 – as Assistant Manager marketing
Current Company – 2011 – till date – as Manager marketing
Employer thinks: “Oh my God, I will have to read all before reaching what I really wish to read.”
Or he may simply not read below because of lack of time and may completely over look it. He will think you are currently unemployed.
Advice: Always mention education/ experience etc. in “REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER”. Saves time and pain for the employer. He may read the rest, if time permits.
- Long Paragraphs
Computer Skills: I have excellent command over MS word, especially, excel and I have also worked in a SAP environment. I also, have experience with Coral Draw and I am proficient in creating advanced designs.
Employer: Usually overlooks such information because of lack of time. Also, the expertise and proficiency never stands out.
Advice: Use ‘Bullet Points’
Computer Skills: Proficient in MS word
Experience of working in SAP environment
Expert in advanced creative designing using Coral Draw.
- A bad ‘Objective/ Title’ and No ‘Summary’
A hard working and enthusiastic professional looking for middle management positions
Employer thinks: You have as many as 6-10 seconds to give employer what he wants. If he is running short of time, he may move on to resumes more targeted and specific in nature.
Advice: Use strong Title/ Objective and also add Summary.
“Senior Manager – Supply chain, working with XYZ company with 10 years strong multi-faceted experience in Supply Chain Management with most reputed companies, qualified from ABC institute of Supply chain management.”
Also Add Synopsis/ Summary as it gives a quick overview of your entire profile and creates a preference.
- Making a long resume
Classic Example: Any resume running for more than 2 pages.
Employers think: “Who’s going to read all this?”
Advice: Keep it focused. Put only relevant information. Remember, an HR manager has to go through 100s of resumes in a day.
Ideally just 1 Page resume or maximum 2 pages.
- References on resume
Either references are mentioned or it simply says “References: Available upon request.”
Employer thinks: Supplying references is a must. Why mention it and waste space?
Advice: No need to mention the word ‘References’ on the CV. Furnish details only when requested. Utilize space for better reasons like mentioning your strengths or special skills acquired relevant to the job.
So, now when you are making a resume, keep all these common mistakes in mind and DO NOT MAKE THEM.