You’ve spent hours on your resume. You’ve written and rewritten. You’ve showed it to friends, family, and colleagues, and you’ve made change after change. But is your painstakingly created resume really serving you well? Here are 5 of the most common resume mistakes, and how you can fix them:
1. Not enough white space
Reading a resume isn’t much like reading a book, but there is one similarity: big blocks of text are a turn-off, and may actually turn readers away. It’s imperative to design your resume with plenty of white space to facilitate skimming and ensure that the main facts stand out. Use headings, line breaks, and bullets to break up the page and draw your readers’ eyes forward. And remember: a professional resume isn’t a comprehensive life history. If one position’s entry is going much longer than about 6-10 lines of text, it’s time to do some cutting.
2. Failing to separate tasks from achievements
One way to ensure that your resume is skimmable and that your main achievements stand out is to clearly separate your day-to-day job tasks from your key accomplishments. Putting your accomplishments into a bulleted list is the best way to do this. Bulleted lists make skimming a breeze for busy readers. A word of warning, though: don’t get carried away. Five bullets per position are almost always sufficient, and fewer than that is fine.