Updated: Apr 25, 2020
You are unique and your resume should be too. Don't make these common mistakes when applying for your new job.
The Resume Should Fit the Company
You can style your resume to reflect the needed skills and tone that would fit the company culture you've discovered in your research. You are researching the company before you write the resume, aren't you? If not, check out their website and social to get a feel of their tone and values. If the position you're applying for requires creativity, the candidate should emphasize that in the resume and cover letter. The cover letter provides another opportunity to showcase how you would be great cultural fit for the company.
Your resume needs to highlight your skills and experience related specifically to the job you’re applying for. Each time you apply for a new job, you should be tailoring your resume to the specific position and adding your relevant skills detailed in the job posting. Again, do your homework. Focus on a specific company and job to create a targeted resume. If you're not a resume writer, that's okay - simply update your resume with specific skills from each job posting that you're applying to.
Do you have work gaps or have you job-hopped more frequently? No sweat, job-hopping is more common as staying with an employer has less and less benefits and job hopping allows for growth in both job title and salary. But we'll save the deep dive on job-hopping vs. company loyalty for another post. Most people change jobs about every two years now, but if your resume lists five jobs in only two years, hiring managers may think twice. Also, long periods between jobs may be raising a red flag for organizations. Fill the lapse in time with details about what you were doing between jobs - did you pursue your own business, stay home with children or go on that epic adventure? No problemo! Just fill in the gaps as best you can. As a professional resume writer, I've had many conversations with clients determining how best we can highlight any gaps or job-hopping situations. It's always best to address the elephant in the room.
Uh Oh, Typos & Incorrect Grammar
Finally, don't let misspellings and poor editing ruin your first impression. This is one of the most common reasons a resume or cover letter get tossed. There are many free tools you can use to proof your resume and cover letter. Always proofread your professional resume before sending anything to your desired employer. A second review may catch mistakes or awkward wording that was earlier missed. Or if proofreading and document formatting aren't your strengths, you can hire a professional resume writer to draft your accomplishments and relevant job skills so your future employer sees what an asset you would be to their organization.