The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:
The following resume flaws might hinder your chances for finding the ultimate post graduation job.
In the movie, Legally Blonde, the main character struts around campus with a pink, rose scented resume. This is not the way to land a long term relationship with a company you are interested in working for. White paper is still the norm, and if you are going to use anything different, keep it simple with off-white, cream, beige, or another neutral color. Copy stores generally offer advice in this area and can suggest paper that will suit your needs and your personality.
The thing to remember is that less is more when it comes to shopping your resume around. Papers also come in different thicknesses or weights. While you don’t want to submit paper that is so thin it appears transparent, you also don’t want to submit a resume on a paper that is as thick as cardboard.
It is important to format your resume so that it is easy to read. Recruiters and hiring managers looking for interns or full time hires need to quickly see how your major area of study, extracurricular activities and work experiences match up to opportunities in their organization.
Try to use consistent fonts throughout the resume. Don’t switch every time you transition to another section or information. Keep the font at least 10pt if using Microsoft Word or other comparable editor. You don’t want the words to be too tiny for someone to read easily. Keep margins reasonable and don’t have lines that go to the edge of the printed page. Make your name big, but not as big as the letters in a newspaper headline. Don’t use fonts that are too curvy or elaborate. Arial or Times New Roman fonts are always a safe bet.
Too Much Detail
Make your resume concise, with enough detail regarding your major and work experiences, but not so much information that the recruiter knows the name of every professor and your last three roommates. Resumes should contain high level information and are almost like your personal advertisement. Think of the interview as your chance to tell the story and your resume as one line chapter summaries. A rule of thumb for entry level resumes is to stick to one page in length.
Incorrect or Inappropriate Contact Information
Make sure you put the most relevant contact information on your resume. If you have several email addresses list the one that you check most often. Make sure you've updated any college/university specific contact information.
Also be careful of email addresses that are personal in nature. An email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org or even one that illustrated hobbies or interests, such as email@example.com is not professional enough for a resume. A first and last name combination is always safe. For example firstname.lastname@example.org or first initial and last name email@example.com. If it is an email address you are only going to use in your job search, something like firstname.lastname@example.org might help you distinguish it from personal email account. This can also be a good way to keep track of all your emails to human resources and job opportunity contacts.
If you do list references on your resume make sure that you notify them so they won’t be caught off guard by recruiters should they call. The worst roadblock for your job hunt is to have a recruiter call a reference who is either unavailable or has no idea that you had them listed. Many jobseekers tend to place the phrase “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of the resume. This gives you the chance to call references as soon as a company makes the request. You can update them on the latest things going on with your studies, extracurricular activities, career goals and overall interests. Good references include professors, community leaders, high school and summer program advisors and other mentors.
Too Much High School History
With each passing year in college your resume should contain less high school information. Freshman year it is understandable that you will focus on the activities, leadership positions and academics that got you into your college in the first place. As you go into your sophomore, junior and senior year, it is likely that you will have additional work experiences to add on. By the time you graduate your high school entries should be very limited. Leave only the most critical portions of your high school achievement and those closely tied to the internship and post graduation opportunities you are looking for as you advance in your college career.
Author: T. Murray
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.
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