The Greatest Mistake on Your Resume (And How to Avoid It Easily)

The Greatest Mistake on Your Resume (And How to Avoid It Easily)

It’s safe to say that most job applicants have been guilty of making resume mistakes at one point or another. When an employer is going through resumes, they will pay attention to everything. Sure, they will give each resume only a few seconds, but that’s enough for them to get the first impressions they need.                  

There are few common mistakes that job applicants are making in resumes:

  • Lack of proper grammar and spelling
  • Lack of proper structure
  • Too much general talk and no specifics
  • Boring and repetitive action verbs

There are many mistakes… However, there’s one really serious flaw that connects all these mistakes: lack of uniqueness.

A resume that’s copied and pasted from a template may seem perfect to you. It has all needed elements and it represents your skills and achievements the right way. However, it’s something the hiring manager has seen countless times before. They are tired of these template-based resumes. They want to see something else. They expect something more from great candidates.

It’s time to start avoiding this pitfall. We’ll teach you how to avoid the mistake of not being unique enough. Here’s how to do that easily:


  • Consider the Infographic Format


The design of an infographic resume works because it allows you to compress important information in a single page. It also gives a more unique look to your resume, while maintaining the professional appeal.

  • Divide the layout into a grid. You can have two columns and few rows, depending on the sections you plan to include. These are the most important sections:
    • Contact information
    • Experience
    • Education
    • Skills
    • Awards and certificates
  • If you find infographics challenging to create, you can use a service that gives you templates. Piktochart, Canva, and Venngage are quite effective tools for infographic design. However, we’re talking about unique resumes here, so make sure to use the customization options as effectively as possible. You don’t want to present the same template-based infographic resume as another candidate.


  • Get Inspired by Your Profession


When you’re looking for a particular job, the creative resume should express its vibe. If, for example, you’re looking for a job in the makeup industry, you can go bold with the colors. If you’re a web designer, you can make the resume look like an About page of a website. If you’re competing for a position in publishing, you can opt for a “bookish” design.

The resume is your opportunity to showcase your love for this profession. Convey your enthusiasm through it!


  • Include a Section about Your Personal Interests


When you’re competing for a particular position, you’re against candidates with similar experience, education, and skills. Do you know what sets you apart? Your personality! Employers are after skills and competence, but they also want to hire individuals who would fit into the company’s culture. That’s why it’s okay to showcase your personal interests for activities that are not related to the work.

Do you write a blog? Include a link to it. Do you love volunteering? Mention the causes you stand for. Are you great at organizing events? Mention the ones you’re proud of. Resumes are no longer restricted to education and experience. A creative resume leaves some space for your personality, so use it well.


  • Don’t Allow Your Creativity to Suffocate Your Resume  


Design is important, but content is crucial! You can get fancy on the design up to a certain point. When the design is so fancy that the hiring manager cannot focus on anything but the visual aspect, it means you went too far.

This is the golden rule for crafting creative resumes: substance over flash! If you have troubles finding the right voice and writing proper content, you can always get help from resume writing services. They will help you find the right balance between creativity and substance.  


  • Showcase Your Personal Brand


Here’s a fact you need to be aware of: hiring managers certainly use Google to their advantage. Your web presence lets them learn more about your personality and interests. What if there’s another person with the same name? That could certainly ruin your reputation. That’s why it’s important to include links to your personal website, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profile in the resume.

How is that creative? Well, it shows you’re following the trends and you know how important your personal brand is. Needless to say, those links will lead to awesome profiles and creative content that shows you’re a perfect fit for the job!


  • Avoid Being Boring!


Sure, you can go with the good-old standard design of a resume. That doesn’t mean that the content should be boring, though. Whatever design you choose, the resume has to be creative on its own. It must separate you from other candidates. You’re a unique individual with a special personality. The resume must show that!   

Julie Petersen

Julie Peterson is a freelance writer and a professional editor. She trying to help students to improve their writing skills.

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