It’s often the first impression you make to a prospective employer, yet so many people are still making common mistakes with their resume that are instant turnoffs to those reading. And, if you score the interview—there’s a host of commonly-made mistakes to consider there that could potentially be your undoing in landing the job. Here’s how to avoid these resume and interview faux-pas.
Hands up high if you’ve heard “your resume should only be one page in length” more times than you can count? Well, we’re here to tell you that this isn’t necessarily the case. If you can fit it on one page and fit in everything you need—hats off to you, girlfriend. However, don’t go sacrificing content for length. If you need to go over to two pages—which you likely will if you’re a bit further along in your career, it definitely isn’t worth leaving out important details about your experience for the sake of a neat, one-page fit.
Look, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been tempted to write “proficient in WordPress” when the reality is that we’ve never actually logged in—assuming we’ll just learn it as and when we need to. While it’s important to sell yourself, it’s equally as important not to, ya know, lie. You only run the risk of getting caught out, and believe us—that is so not a good look.
While the content of your resume is important, remember that it’s a clear, uncluttered and easy-to-follow layout that will get your resume looked at in the first place. Structured formatting, bold headings and bullet points instead of huge chunks of text are key. And, harking back to our first point—don’t go putting your font into size 6 with 2mm margins just to get all your info on one page. Size 10 and enough white space is super important for readability!
Generic, vague phrases about various qualities you have will simply not cut the mustard these days. As well as detailing qualifications, provide accurate, numbers-driven statistics to go along with your claims—so if you upped your team’s sales by 50% last year, write it down!
While you might be focusing exclusively on the interview content that showcases your knowledge about the company, the industry and your own skill set, it’s equally as important to market yourself as a good communicator—which is where small talk comes in. You want to show them how personable and easy to get along with you are; so they can easily envisage fitting you in as part of the team.
While you probably know this already, the point is well-worth reiterating. Make sure you do your research, prepare questions so you’ve got something to ask and pitch your ideas. By putting in the extra effort, you’ll not only feel more relaxed before and during the interview, but will also prove that you’re willing to put in extra work. Win-win situation!
‘Cause there’s nothing worse than sitting across from a candidate who clearly anticipated questions, rehearsed answers and is simply reciting them word-for-word. It really detracts from showing your personable side, so while you want to have an idea what you might say for certain answers, it’s important to be natural!
Obviously, this one depends on the timeframe you were given for them to get back to you, but make sure you have an idea so you know when to follow up in a timely fashion. Also, it’s a good idea to send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you within a day or so of the interview—it’s a nice personal touch that definitely can’t hurt!