Photo by Unsplash / CC

Photo by Unsplash / CC

Searching for a new job can be time consuming.

But there’s no need to stress out about writing your resume.

Not unless you’re making one of these five mistakes.

1) It doesn’t address what employers are really looking for

Before you write a single word go through the advertised job description in detail. Check the criteria they have listed and tailor your resume to those specific skills. Typically employers will look for relevant qualifications and experience as well as attributes such as communication, relationship management, analytical ability and strong organisational skills. Make sure you cover these off on the first page of your resume.

2) It doesn’t show what you can do

The other important thing to get across to potential employers is the value you can bring to the role, which is why it’s so important to include achievements in your resume. If you’re having trouble coming up with examples think about the outcomes you help to deliver, whether that’s additional revenue, cost savings or process improvements. If you can’t think of specific examples then try reframing your responsibilities to highlight how you benefit the company.

3) It’s too wordy and doesn’t get to the point

There are no hard and fast rules about the length of your resume. The most important thing is to make sure it reflects your skills and expertise. Having said that you need to make sure your points are concise and the reader doesn’t have to wade through a tonne of irrelevant information to understand what you do. I recommend you use a formal template and don’t get too creative with layout. Use bullet points where possible and make sure paragraphs are short. Not sure about your layout? Here are 275 free resume templates to choose from.

4) You’ve listed every position since you left high school

A lot of people believe they have to list out every job they ever had, but the truth is potential employers don’t much care what you did 20 years ago. There are exceptions but unless it was really impressive it’s best to stick to the past decade. Similarly, jobs you held for less than a year generally shouldn’t be included unless you’re a recent graduate and you don’t have much experience. Be strategic with the positions you include. If you’re worried about leaving gaps in your work history you can list every role in a career summary.

5) It’s got qualifications you don’t have

I’ve seen a lot of people include qualifications they never quite got around to finishing. I understand the urge to include a diploma or degree you were only a few credits away from completing but if that was back in 2004, the chances you will ever finish it are slim. Best to leave it out.

What do you struggle with when it comes to your resume?