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Five Resume Mistakes You Should Avoid

Resume on Empty Desk
Photo by David Davies at www.flickr.com/photos/davies/

Everyone’s made a mistake or three at one point or another in their career. The mistakes that sting the most are ones that can cost a job, or a potential job. My mistake involves a resume with a typo. Over the course of a few months I interviewed several times with the same company. Prior to my final interview, the HR Recruiter asked for an updated resume. I happily obliged her request and made the update. At the same time a rogue key, courtesy of my laptop’s over-sensitive keypad, inserted itself in my resume as well. Luckily, I was able to catch this mistake before walking into the interview and explain what happened before losing the opportunity to continue the interview.

Learn From Other’s Mistakes
Thousands of other applicants are not as lucky when it comes to avoiding the #1 resume mistake typos and grammatical errors (as cited in a Monster.com resume article). The last thing you want is for an employer to think you cannot communicate well, or that you don’t care about your job. To ensure that your resume gets the attention it deserves, here are four mistakes to avoid:

2. Don’t lack specifics. A resume with vague references will not get noticed. Employers want to know what you’ve done and any notable accomplishments.

3. Don’t take a one size fits all approach. Using one resume for all job applications will not help your resume stand out of the pile. Employers want to see how you will be an asset to their company.

4. Don’t highlight duties instead of accomplishments. This goes hand-in-hand with point number two. By making sure that your accomplishments are attached to the duties that led to your achievements, you are able to show a positive cause and effect relationship with your work.

5. Don’t create your resume too long or too short. There isn’t a specific standard when it comes to how many pages a resume should be. If you utilize points one through four, you’ll be on your way to a healthier-looking resume. Monster.com recommends two pages as a good starting point, and if you go over that amount it’s okay. You can always trim your wording down. Just make sure it’s not lacking specifics or lists an accomplishment without a duty, or vice versa.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing the proper strategies, you’ll be on your way to a stronger resume. Another way to strengthen your resume is through listing your credentials. Experience coupled with education makes the strongest impact to resumes that catch employers’ eyes.

Well-respected universities such as Florida Tech offer a wide variety of convenient degree programs. Florida Tech, for example offers a variety of 100% online degree programs ranging from associate’s level all the way to master’s. The online degree programs allow you to work your classes around your busy schedule while achieving your academic goals.

By keeping points 1-5 in mind, you can avoid the same resume mistakes that I, along with many other people have made along the way.

By Jaime Weinstein, Writer for Institutions of Higher Learning

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill