For any college graduate, the door to next stage of life is through the resume. Resume holds a key significance for any college graduate. It is through this piece of information that your chances of landing a job is decided. Unfortunately due to certain common mistakes, many students fail to qualify for next round selection. If you can avoid such mistakes, you can be sure that your resume does not end up in the trash can of your recruiter. Making a good resume is a must and you should definitely avoid the following mistakes in order to make your resume stand out and impress your recruiter.
Common Resume Mistakes College Students Make and 21 Tips to Fix Them:
1. Grammar error and spelling mistakes need to be avoided:
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is grammar and spellings. No matter how colorful or how attractive does your resume looks, no matter how much skills you have to show to your interface, if it does not satisfy the simple and basic need of proper written communication i.e. Grammar and spelling, then no one is going to consider your resume. So double check that everything is correct.
2. Not jotting down essential experience:
In the midst of so many experiences, many students fail to realize that every achievement and every non-work experience can be valuable and can increase their chances of getting noticed. Many times students get overwhelmed by the fact that they have so many other things to write that they forget the important ones. No matter at what point of time you gained an experience or you did a course, if it is the requirement of the job then you should definitely put it on your resume.
3. Just a piece of empty paper:
Just opposite to above point where people forget to write important points because they have so many things to write, there are some people who do not have enough things to show to the recruiter. In that case, it is better to pick up some course or participate in your college’s group in order to gain experience. If that is not possible then go for online courses or join a community college where you can find a work of your interest. During the time of applying, you can mention about these ongoing activities which will certainly impress the recruiter.
4. Sending same resume to different job position:
Your resume should reflect as per your company needs. No company is same and so also their requirement. It is necessary that you prepare your resume according to the need of the company. Many students fail to realize this simple fact that if the same general resume is sent to every company then no one is going to pay attention to the resume. No doubt your experiences and your skill will remain the same irrespective of which company you apply for. But when you tailor your resume, it ensures that the points which will grab the attention of the recruiter are put first, hence increases your chance of getting a job.
5. Not giving exact detail about your experience:
You may be a great leader but that does not provide much information as to how effective you are as a leader. You need to provide exact detail as to what type of group did you lead and what was the outcome of that group in an event or anything which can be recognized. You should be adding tangible data to your experience. This gives an accurate and identifiable image about your experiences and skills which will aid the recruiter incorrectly identifying your potentials. Vague and general buzzword filled statement is outdated and is absolutely not required in your resume.
6. Mention your extracurricular activities:
The companies are not only looking for someone who has the right set of skills but they are also interested in getting a person who will fit into their company as a whole person. They want to know about you as a person and not just as a worker. So you need to write down your hobbies in not just plain buzzword type, but something which will provide some accurate idea about how you spend your hobby period and how it has helped you in achieving a goal or making you a better person.
7. Including absolute and meaningless details:
You might have done some courses before or you might have achieved a lot of trophies way back before. But right now, they should not be placed in your resume. During fresher years it is right to include your school time achievement but in your senior years, you would have already done some of the activities that are now more relevant. Thus, you will have to sideline your previous activities. Although, if you have an achievement that is related to your job and will certainly aid your resume, then you should definitely mention it, otherwise it is better to keep your resume relevant with time.
8. The length of the resume should be optimum:
Just las we are less interested in reading a humongous amount of information in short span of time, the interviewers are no exceptional to that tendency. For interviewers have to go through hundreds of application in a single day, if not thousands. One to two-page resume is all that you need to make sure that your resume is noticed. No one wants to read a history about your life and neither you need to write one. Keep it short and crispy. No need of elaborating every piece of information.
9. The absence of active verbs:
It is important to represent your activities and the best form to do so is by the use of active verbs. The format can be like verb + what you did. This way you can be sure about representing your skills in a tangible manner.
10. Repetitive use of words:
Nothing annoys more to a person than repetition. Unless you are writing a poem or a song where you want to make a point loud and clear, repetition causes only boredom. You need to make sure that you use a variety of words to enrich your resume. Repetitive verbs also show your lack of knowledge in language too. So make sure that instead of making a good impression you do not give off other information like this one which only demeans your value.
11. The layout is not consistent:
Presentation matters most. A plane dull looking resume is going to upset your recruiter, but more than that an inconsistent layout will annoy the person. Different sized bulletin, inconsistent font size, variety of color theme, no alignment of text, texts are not rhythmic in layout and many other things can make your resume look bad. Nowadays there are many websites and office suite software that make it easy to edit the layout on the go. If you are finding any difficulty then you can take someone else help to correct it. But either way, you must maintain consistency.
12. Contact information:
You must provide contact information on your resume. Make sure that they are operating and anyone can contact you through your mobile number or email or whatever means you have provided on the resume. Do not provide wrong or outdated contact number. Before providing contact information make sure about their relevance and whether someone can use it to reach you or not.
13. Make use of bullets instead of paragraphs:
As mentioned in the point 7, no one has time to go through every part of the resume. Many students think that writing in paragraphs can be an effective means to elaborating on details but they fail to realize that the main objective of elaborating is lost when written in paragraph manner. If you wish to showcase your talent then it is better if you can make use of bullets which are not only easy to go through but it also ensure that you make use of active verbs in order to jot down your talent on the resume.
Proofreading is one of the least appreciated methods of correcting the problem. Last minute checking is all you will need to make sure that you do not give an illegible resume to your prospect. Make sure that you double check your resume and get it corrected from a friend or family member or may be from a professional who excels in resume writing. You can even make use of online tools that provide an elegant way to proofread your resume. So stop embarrassing yourself and go for proofreading before submission.
15. The importance of keyword:
Keywords described in job proposal holds key to success. If one or two of your skills or experience can be described in terms of the keywords then make the best use of it. This will ensure that you grab the attention of the job giver and he will proceed to read through rest of your resume. Often students forget about keywords and start filling their resume with random words. Keeping consistency with tailored resume theory, you should ensure to include certain keywords in your resume according to the company where you are applying.
16. Include your academic information:
Although in today’s world practical knowledge matters more but it is good to show your grade on your resume if you have a good score. This shows that you are committed to your current job and you have a sound foundation in your field of study.
17. Use of references:
Unless asked, you do not need to mention your references on your resume. Thus saving a bit of length of your resume and crowding it with relevant information.
18. Forgetting to mention dates:
Putting things in chronological order gives a reference for your reader to learn about you in a proper manner. You must make sure to include date whenever possible to inform the recruiter about the occurrence or completion of different events.
19. It’s all about results:
You must make sure that your resume speaks about how your skill or knowledge helped you to achieve something productive. You must make sure to use life examples instead of passive statement stating your skills. Employers want to know how you made use of your skills and knowledge in the practical field and whether you got to achieve an outcome from it or not. Even though you do not need to elaborate on the story you can make use of data and numbers to brief your outcome in single line statement.
20. Establishing your own personal brand:
It is never a good idea to boast about yourself, but neither is the idea of being lame. A resume is your chance to promote yourself in front of the prospects and you should make maximum use of it. Include some catchy word phrase or lines that can summarize you and your skills and at the same time will keep the attention level of the recruiter high. Branding is the sure shot way of making sure that you do not get fade away from the memories of your employer.
21. Using a professional email id:
Using a working contact information is a must. But it is equally important that you make use of a professional email id. In the digital world, where everyone is making use of emails to contact you, the use of a professional email id is a must. You do not want to use an old school time email. That might be funny and catchy at that point of time but it hardly attracts the attention of your recruiter. So make sure to use a professional email id.
These are just some of the key points that you should keep in mind while creating your wonderful resume. If you keep these points in mind then no doubt you will be creating a wonderful resume that will stand out from rest of the crowd. You can make use of online tools, references, and other sources to make sure that your resume is precise and to the point. So go out and happy job hunting.