If you Google search “resume tips for job seekers,” you will get about 145,000,000 results in 0.75 seconds. That’s a lot of information and tips to try and sort through. To make things easier for you, we’ve picked out 3 common mistakes we’ve seen on resumes and paired them with 3 things you should do instead. This advice will help you create a resume that will make you stand out in an applicant pool and help you get hired.
1. Keep it Short & Sweet
Don’t: Make Your Resume Over a Page Long
Do: Include More Information in Your Job Application or Cover Letter
It can be tempting to put a lot of information in your resume. After all, aren’t the most interesting people the ones who have done a lot? Not in this case. Putting too much information on a resume can actually hurt you. Most career specialists agree that your resume should be one page long.
Don’t think of your resume as a detailed job history. Instead, it should be an adequate summary of your career and skills. Your resume should grab a potential employer’s attention so you can get yourself invited to the next step of the hiring process.
If you really feel like your resume doesn’t have everything you want in it, find another way to convey this information. Consider adding to your job application or cover letter. You can even elaborate further in an interview.
2. Be Simple & Selective
Don’t: Include Every Position You’ve Held
Do: Customize Your Resume to Respond to the Job Post
You have one page to say a whole lot about yourself and your skills. That can feel really difficult, especially if you’ve accumulated a lot of jobs or experience. Don’t just think of your resume chronologically. Instead, consider what jobs and experiences a hiring manager would want to see for the specific job you’re applying for.
Think about previous job titles you’ve had that would show that you’re well qualified for the job you’re applying for. Similarly, be sure to include any education or skills training that would be relevant. You may have many accomplishments under your belt, but your resume should really focus on the ones that show you’re a great fit for this particular position.
3. Keep Your Resume Up-To-Date
Don’t: Wait Until a Job Search to Update Your Resume
Do: Keep Track of Changes as Your Career Grows
This is my favorite piece of advice to share because I think it’s one of the best ways to keep track of your accomplishments and growth. I recommend having one document you can consider your “Master Resume.” This should be a record of everything you’ve done: your job history, education, training, certifications, projects, volunteer work, etc. Because it is a full list of what you’ve done, that means you should also have your most recent or current job in the document too.
As you work, add to the document, especially when you do anything outside of your normal job expectations. Don’t limit yourself to the job description that matches your job title. You’re the best person to describe what exactly you do and how it contributes to your project, company or goal.
For example, one of my early jobs was “Counter/Cashier” at a takeout restaurant. In addition to my daily duties, I learned how to handle scheduling shifts. As I worked, I picked up more skills and was able to show that I was qualified for a Manager position. I kept track of all of the extra and new things I learned so, when I was trying to earn a Manager role, I had concrete examples of my qualifications and development.
Having one master resume document can also help you identify patterns you might have overlooked. If you’ve worked in many different industries, or even have a lot of hobbies, it may feel like you’re just a grab bag of experiences. But sometimes, things that don’t seem like job-related skills or experiences can be. A recreational sport league can show off your leadership or teamwork skills. A side hustle or hobby can highlight your time management skills. When you look at everything you do and how it all fits together, you might realize that you’re bringing more to the table than you realized.
About the Author: Jesi Bolandrina is the Content Marketing Manager at Jobble. As a former gig worker, she knows how hard it can be to feel like you know what you’re doing in an ever-changing workforce. Honestly, she wishes these resume tips for job seekers were easier to find when she was just starting out. Jesi is your go-to for news and information from career development, to health and wellness, to finances and more. She curates Jobble’s blog, articles and is the editor of The Everyday Hustle newsletter. If you have any ideas for topics Jobble should cover, let her know.