8 signs your resume is not up to scratch

8 signs your resume is not up to scratch

Resume styles are constantly changing. What may have snared your dream role three years ago, now looks dated, tired and uninspiring. 

Here are eight things to fix your resume and job application:

1. You’re using a passive voice and wacky fonts in your resume

Using an active voice not only sounds more confident, it also gets rid of unnecessary filler words such as: to, by, are, and and. Using weird fonts, on the other hand, can make you look unprofessional.

2. You list basic skills as selling points to hire you

By boasting you know Microsoft Office and Excel, you may as well be saying you’re familiar with using email, the internet or even a telephone. Most employers will assume you have knowledge of these things.

3. You’re not editing your work

Recruiters readily admit they delete resumes that contain spelling or punctuation mistakes. So make sure you have another pair of eyes look over your work, and – if you have time – leave it for a few hours before giving it one final check.

4. You’re not double checking the job description

Are you sure you’ve answered every job requirement, and backed it up with examples?

5. You’re not using keywords from the position description

Recruiters are now often using keyword trackers to help weed out resumes which most closely fit the selection criteria. So include as many appropriate keywords as possible and ensure they’re properly formatted.

6. You’re not leading with the good stuff

Don’t use reverse chronological order if it doesn’t highlight your greatest achievements. Recruiters often skim a resume, and you don’t want them to miss the best parts. Be specific about the details of what you achieved and how you achieved it, and include figures if you can.

7. You’re being dishonest in your job application

In this digital age, embellishments or outright lies are too easy to check and will get you instantly discarded or dismissed. Learn what other ways you shouldn’t describe yourself in a job application.

8. You’re not creating an easy to read digital resume

Word documents are the safe way to go, right? Wrong. There are many different versions, which means files can appear differently on each screen or may not be. Providing your resume as a PDF is the safe option for maximum compatibility, unless a specific file type has been requested.

Get your resume up to scratch with these tips:

  • Use an active voice
  • Lead with your best achievements
  • Lies get caught out
  • PDFs always display in the same format

Learn how to improve your cover letter with these tips.


CPA Career Mentor


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