Recruiters and hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes for entry-level roles. When they are looking to fill a role or position they don’t have the time to look over each resume thoroughly. I read online that the average hiring manager reviews a resume for an average of six seconds when looking for a candidate. With that said, you never want to miss an opportunity because of a simple error.
Here at Morehouse, I have reviewed so many resumes. From underclassmen who may be applying for their first internship to seniors who want feedback. During the fall of 2016, I had the privilege of working in HR as a talent acquisitions intern with Turner Broadcasting Systems. In that role, I looked at hundreds of resumes filtering out which ones to hand over to recruiters. If there is one thing I know, it is what makes for an excellent resume. I’ve seen good ones and some bad ones. I’d like to share some of the simple recurring mistakes that college students make to help you avoid them.
Irrelevant Work Experiences
One of the best ways candidates eliminate themselves for a role is that they fill their resumes with irrelevant work experience. When applying to any job always make sure that the experiences you include on your resume fit the role you are applying for. Before submitting your resume to a job application, read over the job description. See if you have work experience that reflects the description of the job you want. The closer you can get your resume to match the description of the role, the higher your chances of being a match for that position.
No one cares about your hobbies. That section on your resume can be used for another header. Never include hobbies that don’t directly correlate with the job you are applying for. Instead of a “Hobbies” section try including an “Interests” section where you express your interests that match the application. For example, if you are applying to work for E! News it would not hurt to list “Pop Culture” as one of the interests in that section.
Delete Your References Section
Anytime an employer wants to speak to references they will ask. There is no need to include this section on your resume. You don’t even need to put “references upon request” at the bottom of the document. That statement takes away from space that you can use for something else.
“I,” “My” or “We.”
A resume should never include personal pronouns. Pronouns should not be included in your document at all. It is already understood that everything on your resume is a reflection of your experiences. By stating “we conducted research” or “I implemented strategies” etc. makes your resume look very amateur and weak.
An Unprofessional Email Address
Always aim to use your campus email address on your application. You should never use emails like Rihannastan77@yahoo.com or MattyGDaddy@yahoo.com if those are the only e-mail addresses you have, create another one to use strictly for job applications.
Old Font Usage
The days of Times New Roman 12pt font are over. In 2017 there are so many cool, modest and creative fonts you can use to stand out in a pile of resumes. Keep it professional but aim to use different fonts that allow you to stand out and be noticed.
When describing your work experience always make sure that you use the appropriate tense for each experience. If you are presently working at a company make sure all of your bullets are in the present tense. There are so many people who regularly update their resume and forget to change the tenses of their experiences. Be mindful of this.
It is imperative that your resume is always neat and symmetrical. Resumes can be very complicated documents to format especially when using templates. Do your best to take your time and configure your document until it is full and symmetrical.