Firstly and more importantly spell check! Resume 101, there are no excuses for spelling mistakes.
DON’T MAKE IT LONG WINDED
Most employers want a one to two page resume highlighting your transferable skills, a snapshot of your experience bullet pointed and then provide further details on two to three of your most relevant positions.
Candidates can have a habit of simply adding to their resume with every new job or project undertaken. But when you add, you also need to look at what you can slim down or even delete to keep it concise.
DON’T HAVE A ‘VANILLA RESUME’
Make sure you edit your CV for each job you apply for, as different positions require different skills.
Have a base template and tweak that to every application rather than a vanilla resume. Tailor it. What can you highlight that are relatable achievements and relevant projects?
DON’T OVERSELL YOURSELF
Honesty is critical. No one is as successful as they look on LinkedIn, as happy as on Facebook or as funny as they sound on Twitter.
State your relatable project experience and put your best foot forward without bragging or overstating your capability.
DON’T BE A GRUB ON PAPER
Looks matter when it comes to CV’s. Make sure you present a well formatted resume that is easy to read with plenty of white space between sections and have a consistent font throughout.
The document needs to be easy to follow in regards to career history and key skills need to be easily identified.
DON’T USE COMIC SANS FONT
Keep it professional. Don’t use emojis, we’re not there yet.
Someone who is a graphic designer may have a more creative resume than someone in a more typical admin role.
DON’T LIST YOUR AGE
It’s none of their business, aside from exceptional circumstances. Age discrimination is illegal in most cases but why even give a potential employer the chance to judge you due to how old you are?
It’s about relevance not age. Mature, experienced candidates bring a lot to the table. People can guess your age from the dates of your education and experience.
DON’T REPEAT YOURSELF
If you’ve stated you can do a particular task, don’t put examples in every role. Particularly if previous experience was of a lesser quality or further down the ladder.
A prospective chief financial officer doesn’t talk about the days when he did payables and receivables.
DON’T FORGET TO WARN YOUR REFEREES
Double check they’re still good to put in a good word for you.
It’s even more important if they work in your current job, as it could come as a surprise to them that you’re leaving.
DON’T USE THE WORDS ‘CURRICULUM VITAE’
English is fine on a resume, you don’t need to throw in Latin. Spelling out “curriculum vitae” could make you look a bit up yourself.
Shortening it to “CV” is standard and the term is used interchangeably with “resume” by those in recruitment.
DON’T GO OTT ON ABBREVIATIONS
Abbreviations might show you know the lingo. But the first person who reads over your CV might be several rungs down the ladder and not know their IPA (Institute of Public Accountants) from their IPA (Institute of Public Affairs).
There are a lot of acronyms and technical terminology that are relevant to certain industries but it’s a skill to tackle complex information and disseminate it easily. If you can do that on a CV, that’s a plus.
DON’T NOT BE YOU
You can pretend to be the most serious and straitlaced person in Australia on your resume, but if you actually get the job you don’t want to have to keep up that pretense for the next few years if it’s not the case.
Be yourself because employers want you to bring your whole self to work.
I’d relate this to interviews. If you’re going for a job in a design studio in Newtown or Fitzroy, there’s no point wearing a pinstripe suit, but you do need to make a good impression.
So you’re looking for that balance of expression and formality. Always have a professional element to everything.
Related post: Jobs in Australia.
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