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4 Quick Fixes for the Most Common Resume Mistakes

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Below is a quick fix list that includes common resume DON’Ts I often come across and some easy tips to turn them around.

  1. Too Long

There’s a lot out there about the ideal resume length. My anecdotal experience tells me that in most cases three pages is just too long and will be perceived as such. One page is great – but unless you’re new to the workforce or have been in the same role your whole career it’s just too hard to fit in 5+ years of experience.

THE QUICK FIX: Widen your margins to no more than .5 inches all around, choose a small sans serif font (love Calibri!) and set your point size to 10. You will be amazed at how much less room this new version takes up on the page.

  1. Too Much Text

Heavy blocks of text, and by that I mean text that is greater than three lines in length, are easy to read in print but tough to read online. A skim reader who comes across a heavy block of text is apt to skip it altogether.

THE QUICK FIX: Whittle down your sentences to the ideal one- to two-line length and use a bullet to distinguish it from the next thought. Make sure to have at least .5 point between your bullets to facilitate skim, online reading.

  1. Too Old

Those that have read resumes for ages can easily tell if you are out of the loop where resume trends are concerned – thanks to telltale signs.

THE QUICK FIX: Show you are up to speed by 1) removing an objective 2) removing “references available upon request 3) including just your cell and not both home and cell and 4) including your LinkedIn URL in the contact info along with your email.

  1. Too Hard to Find the Good Stuff

Don’t bury your achievements below your list of responsibilities. It makes it hard for the skim reader to find it.

THE QUICK FIX: Refer to your performance reports or ask yourself what you are proudest of. Use the response together with some context so the reader can understand your challenges, actions and results.

About the Author

Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW is the founder of Virginia Franco Resumes which offers customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker.