I have completed hundreds of resume reviews, while working as a Career Coach over the past few years. Below are some of the most common pieces of resume feedback that I have compiled. Each includes resume tips and additional resources to get your resume in tip-top shape.
1. Missing Professional Profile Links
Adding your professional profile URL, typically your LinkedIn profile, to your resume is a great way to provide additional information and credibility. Recruiters and managers will most likely look you up, so why not include the link with your contact information.
2. Failure to Optimize
Most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) as part of the screening process to identify the right candidates. If you don’t have a keyword rich resume, especially common keywords for your skillset or target role, you won’t make it to the recruiter or hiring manager. Use common keywords associated with the role(s) you’re applying for and embed those in your resume.
3. Poor Design
Consider and factor in the robot screening and the reader experience. Don’t confuse the ATS with embedded tables, images or through use of the header and footer sections. Choose a layout that makes it easy for the reader to scan and recognize important details, by balancing text and white space, and using short paragraphs with bullet points.
4. Excludes Community Involvement
If you’re involved in an association, nonprofit, meetup, or other user group, add it to your resume and include contributions, i.e. being part of a committee or volunteering at their events.
5. Does Not Communicate Your Impact
Details that can really help make your resume pop are the results of your work. Did you implement a new program that benefited thousands? Did you help launch a new tool that saved considerable money or time? Resumes with very broad bullet points communicate very little on the impact the work made. Follow the PAR or STAR formats, when outlining your experience.
This is a careless mistake that can be easily avoided. You have technology on your side to help, but don’t just rely on that. Give yourself a break to ensure you catch any errors by reviewing your resume again, a day or so later. Having a proofreader, other than yourself is also beneficial.
7. Including References
Your resume is a valuable piece of real estate. Don’t waste space by including your references or a references available upon request statement. If someone wants them, they will ask. Maintain a separate document with references you can send, if requested.