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The 6 Biggest Resume Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Either you're saying too much or nothing at all.
The 6 Biggest Resume Mistakes You Should Stop Making Either you're saying too much or nothing at all.

Scott Bacon, Google's recruiter for 2013 to 2014, reviewed three million resumés when he worked for the company. He shares with Fast Company his top no-nos that leave the CVs tossed and discarded, along with the fixes that up your chances of getting interviewed and hopefully hired by the big players:

1. Having bad formatting.

By "bad," Bacon means cluttered. A messy resumé is hard to read, and recruiters who receive an influx of applications only have a few seconds to go through them. Hold their attention and give them an easy time by putting the most important info (your name and contact details) near the top left corner of the page (that's where the eye goes first). List the companies you worked for, thet titles, and the dates to the right.

2. Not explaining what the companies do.

When you list the companies you've worked for, don't forget to write what they do so your recruiters can better understand your background. This is really important when you're applying for a job abroad. Don't rely on explaining what they are on your interview, since at this point you don't know if you'll get one. 


3. Not presenting what you can do for the company.

Have a section for listing your skills down. Job titles can only say so much. The wider range of skills, the better. The company can think of ways it can make great use of you, or even make a position for you if they really like you and there's no opening. Bacon advises having "six to 10 proficiencies" you can talk about in your interview.

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4. Putting unnecessary info.

Apparently writing down every job you've had isn't advisable. Bacon says to focus only on the positions that are relevant to the one you're applying. That means your working as a waitress in a cocktail bar shouldn't be on the list if you're applying to be a medical research assistant.

Then again, if you find a certain job/hobby you've had interesting, go ahead and put it there. Some things (like being an athelete, designer, or musician) can be an icebreaker for your interview, and that'll make you and your interviewer a lot more comfortable.

If a job you had isn't related to the one you're applying for but you've had it for years, include it in your resumé. No need to expound on the company.

5. Sending the same resumé to all the companies you're applying for.

Unless you're a fresh grad, you shouldn't do this. If you're applying to companies belonging to different industries, "You should be tailoring each [resumé] you send out," Bacon says. By highlighting skills that will be useful to each kind of work or industry, you let companies consider you and think of how you can fit.


6. Not saying what you've done or accomplished.

We usually just put our job titles, and at most a brief description of our responsibilities, on our resumés. But that's not enough. Bacon shares his rule of thumb: "Use one line for responsibilities, two lines for accomplishments." Because it's possible you had certain responsibilities and never took them, or took your responsibilities seriously but did nothing else (read: you're mediocre). Listing your accomplishments will let a company know if you're succeeding (and maybe one of the best) in your field.

*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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