Home Career Services 5 Small Mistakes Having a BIG Impact on your Private-Sector Resume
5 Small Mistakes Having a BIG Impact on your Private-Sector Resume

5 Small Mistakes Having a BIG Impact on your Private-Sector Resume

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By Leia O’Connell, MSW
Contributor, Career Coach

One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s the little things that count.” This is especially true for your resume. One small error may be causing your resume to be passed over. Take a look below at five reasons your resume isn’t making it past the first glance.

  1. Your email address is hyperlinked. If your resume is sent through scanning software, a hyperlink can be read as spam and your resume may be immediately removed from consideration. Your resume never even made it to the hiring manager! Make sure to take a quick look and remove the hyperlink to prevent this from happening to you.
  2. You are using 2-3 different fonts. Having different font styles can be distracting to the eye, instead of inviting. Often job candidates use a different font for the header to make it stand out. You can help your header stand out by simply increasing the size and bolding it. Having a consistent font will make your resume more attractive and pleasing to read.
  3. You are capitalizing words incorrectly. This is a small mistake that has a very large impact on your resume. Figuring out what to capitalize can be difficult and grammar rules get confusing fast! As a general rule, only capitalize when you start a sentence or are using a proper noun. The error I see most often on a resume is with job titles. On a resume, specific job titles should be capitalized (e.g. Director of Human Resources); however, general job titles (e.g. Worked with the director to increase sales for the second quarter) should not be.
  4. The margins are too small. If your margins are too small, I am going to immediately assume that you are trying to cram too much information in your resume. Your private-sector resume should be no more than two pages; you need to edit. As a rule, your margins should be an inch on the left and right sides and no less than .5 on the top and bottom. Having these margins will increase the readability of your resume and invite the reader to learn more about you.
  5. You forgot to put your previously held positions in past tense. Sometimes there are wide gaps between when we update our resumes. Then all of the sudden, we’re seeking a new position and need to dust off the resume. If you add your current experience and don’t adjust your previous work experience to past tense, it’s a red flag to the employer that you didn’t sit down and edit your resume before hitting send. Would you hire someone who isn’t careful about making an excellent first impression?

Take a moment to review these tips, and figure out if your resume is being passed over for an easily correctable error!

[Related article: Outdated and Unimpressive: What to Remove From Your Resume]

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