Your resume is an incredibly crucial component of your job hunt process. It can be the thing that makes the difference as to whether you make it to the interview stage or not, so clearly having a polished and professional resume is critical. Here, however, are seven mistakes people make that can make their resumes seem less professional.
1) Using unprofessional email addresses. If you’re applying for a job, you should have your own professional-sounding email address. Not email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Too long. Resumes should not be more than 2 pages, at the very most. Don’t list every detail of your life – just as many professional highlights as you can fit into 1 or 2 pages.
3) Pictures. Unless you’re applying for a job as a model, don’t include pictures with your resume. It simply seems unprofessional. Also, some employers will avoid hiring anyone with pictures included in their resume simply to avoid the possibility of being accused of hiring bias based on appearance.
4) Bad voicemail. The voicemail message that it was okay to leave on your phone in college when you were president of your frat is not the same message that it’s okay to have when you’re looking for a job. Don’t set your voicemail message to be a pop song – or any song except for maybe classical music. Don’t make strange animal noises (I know someone who did that) and don’t strangely imply that you’re a drug dealer (I know someone who did that as well).
5) Omitting necessary information. Although you don’t want your resume to be too, you also don’t want to omit certain necessary information. That is, don’t forget to include the area code on phone numbers for references. Don’t forget to include city and state for previous employers and schools. Don’t forget to include last names on references. Don’t forget to include numbers that are still in service. These all seem like fairly obvious things, but people still neglect them sometimes.
6) Don’t forget to proofread. Even if grammar and spelling have nothing to do with the job for which you are applying, you still need to proofread thoroughly. An accurately edited and grammatically correct resume speaks to a concern for professional appearance that is relevant in any job.
7) Don’t be lazy. Don’t use ditto marks, words like etc. or et. al., and don’t use phrases like “see above” or “same as above.”