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5 things to avoid when writing a resume
1. Don’t include certain information, which is not necessary – less is more!
Not only do you not have to disclose your age in an interview (based on the National Employment Standards), you do not have to include this information in your resume either. By eliminating information relating to your age, sex, glitzy photo of yourself and at times even your address – you might well be increasing your chances of landing that dream job. Recruiters and HR Managers are humans, just like the rest of us and at times they have conscious or sub conscious biases. Therefore, by not including your date of birth or any other information that is not relevant to you performing the job correctly and efficiently, you can increase your ‘employability’.
2. Avoid Clutter in your resume
You want your resume to be easy to read and understand. Ensure that your resume has clear headings and that all information is presented in a clean, systematic format. On average, it takes 30 seconds for a recruiter to make an initial judgement on your resume. If your resume is cluttered and all over the place – it can have a negative impact on your employment chances. To simplify it – if there are 200 people going for the same role and your resume is very similar to the next, the little things like layout and format can make all of the difference.
3. Avoid gaps in your resume
Anything that raises a question to the recruiter can be problematic and decrease your chances of securing an interview. Therefore, if there are gaps in your resume – ensure that you fill them in to avoid any assumptions. For example, if you were travelling, put travelling and the dates that you travelled. Otherwise, the assumption might be that you were actively looking for work however, unable to find a placement.
4. Try to avoid including ‘negative’ explanations in your resume as to why you left a certain role.
I have seen this time and time again where an applicant will add information in their resume to the extent of “I left this job because the boss owed me money”- TMI! The recruiter doesn’t necessarily need/want to know all of the finer details at this initial stage. If you are inclined to put a reason as to why you left, try and keep it positive. I know this might be a hard one to swallow – however, if you are dissing your old employer (for whatever reason that may be), it really is not going to increase your chances of landing the next job.
5. Avoid using old references
The common, best practice scenario is to use two or three most recent references, preferably your direct supervisor or Manager, in a recent role. Avoid using references that are 15 years old, who’s number might not even be working or they might not even remember your role and responsibility from the time that you did work with them.
I would also suggest that you touch base with the most recent references that you do have and ensure that they are still ok with using them as a reference. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but keeping that communication going with your referee is crucial.
All the best of luck in looking for that perfect role,
Love the team at Sydney Resume.