Your resume can open doors for you, or it can keep you from getting hired. Sometimes it's not the big things that cause the person making hiring decisions to pass on you. It might be a relatively small mistake that dooms your candidacy.
The good news is that these mistakes are easy to fix. Just putting in a little attention to detail should let you correct these errors and give yourself a better chance at getting hired.
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1. Your email address is unprofessional
An email address designed to make your friends laugh may not be the best choice when it comes time to apply for jobs. Avoid anything that might offend anyone or any words that may be considered inappropriate.
Keep your professional email basic. Have it be some variation of your name. It's better to be KJones345@gmail.com then to scare potential employers off as PotLover12@yahoo.com, or anything else that might offend. Even an email that ties to your favorite sports team or any other interest is a risk. Keep it simple, and you'll have a better chance of not being noticed for the wrong reason.
2. Don't leave gaps
If you had a break in your work history, address it. If the reason is one you don't want to share, then it's OK to be a little less than direct. For example, if you spend two years in and out of rehab, it's OK to define that as "dealing with health issues." Of course, you should be well prepared to be asked questions about any gap in your work history.
3. Don't lie
In the digital age, lies on your resume will be discovered. If you don't actually have a degree you claim to have, or never held the exact title you list, it will probably be found out.
A lie on your resume might get your candidacy killed, or it could cause you to be fired after the fact. It's simply not worth the risk to overstate your qualifications in an era when background checks are routine and a digital record exists of nearly everything.
4. Don't have a conflicting objective
Back in my newspaper editor days, I got to hire reporters fairly often. Most openings garnered dozens of resumes all with vaguely similar qualifications. One sure way to end up on the reject pile was when a candidate listed an objective that wasn't related to being a newspaper reporter.
You would be surprised how many people made it clear on their resume that they hoped to be a novelist, a poet, or some other form of writer that had nothing to do with journalism. This effectively told me the candidate would not be focusing on their job as a first priority, and that was usually enough for me to pass.
Your resume serves as your introduction to potential employers. Make sure it presents the best you possible. That seems simple, but it's easy to make mistakes. Take an honest approach and put your best self forward. If that's not enough, then the job you're applying for wasn't for you in the first place.
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