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15 Resume Mistakes to Avoid as a Recent Graduate


resume mistakes to avoidWhether you are preparing for graduation or are a recent grad looking for your first post-college job, you need an awesome resume in order to have a chance at employment.

That means you need to avoid making these 15 mistakes as you compose your resume!

1. Using an Unprofessional Email Address

This is one of the easiest resume mistakes to fix.  Instead of using an old and possibly inappropriate email address during your job search, be on the safe side and create one that uses your name.

2. Neglecting to Include Links to Your Online Profiles

If you have any professional profiles online that list your experience and education, such as LinkedIn, add the links to your resume. As long as they match what’s already on the document, they can tell employers a little more about you.

3. Forgetting to Include Keywords

This is also among the easiest resume mistakes to fix. Just look up some keywords that appear often in job posts in your industry, and include them in your document for the best chances of getting through the initial screening process. It’s even better to do this for each job you apply to.

4. Writing an Objective Instead of a Summary

Objectives are going out of style these days, and executive summaries are taking their place. The summary should include just a few sentences about your unique talents. It should also include any specific information you feel the employer needs to know, such as your willingness to relocate for a job.

5. Making the Resume Too Long

Most recent grads only need one page to explain their job experience and education. Even experienced professionals are advised to stick to two pages at most — long resumes often get thrown in the trash.

6. Adding a Picture

Unless you’re an actor or model, this step not necessary for most careers. It could even lead to you being discriminated against. You don’t want to miss out on getting your first job after college because someone doesn’t like your appearance, especially if your looks don’t matter in your chosen career.

7. Using Unique Colors or Fonts

It’s best to stick to traditional options when it comes to color, resume font, paper and anything else you are tempted to change in order to stand out. The standard choices are popular for a reason; they are usually easiest on the eyes, which is important when HR staff members are only spending seconds scanning your resume!

8. Cramming Too Much Info Into the Document

If you have managed to fill up the whole page with paragraphs about yourself, you’ve made a classic resume mistake. Make your resume easy to read with bullet points when possible and plenty of white space on the page.

9. Including Unrelated Information

Make sure you only include information that employers need to know. For example, if you have recently taken up juggling and want to work as an accountant, leave out the circus tricks and focus more on your math-related skills as you write a great resume.

10. Pointing Out the Common Skills You Have

This is another of the many resume mistakes that can make your document too long. If you’re applying to be an accountant, you don’t have to point out that math is one of your skills. Instead, mention your expertise with specific accounting software that not every aspiring accountant knows how to use.

11. Forgetting to List Unpaid Work

Few recent grads have long job histories, but they might still have some good experience. If you have volunteered or participated in an internship, don’t make the mistake of leaving these experiences off your resume!

12. Writing in the Third Person

Even if you are paying a professional to write your resume, make sure it is in the first person point of view. Otherwise, it will sound odd.

13. Using the Wrong Order

You should use reverse chronological order when listing your education and experience, i.e., most recent work first. This is the easiest way for potential employers to get an understanding of how you have been spending your time during college.

14. Changing the Formatting

Make sure you use the same format throughout the resume. If you list some of your job duties using bullet points, be sure you do the same with all of your job duties. And if you list the city and state for some former employers (which you should!), check to make sure you do this for all of them.

15. Ending Your Resume by Mentioning References

Yet another resume mistake to avoid is saying “references available upon request.” It goes without saying that you will offer your chosen references to the HR team when requested, so leave off this line completely.

Have you made any resume mistakes you regret?



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