Our team at WayUp sees more resumes in a day than most people do in a lifetime. So, we compiled the 9 most common mistakes we see in students’ resumes.
Mistake #1: Saving your resume as a .doc & using a generic filename
Employers don’t like receiving .doc or .docx files for two reasons. One: those files are susceptible to viruses, and two: if they don’t have Microsoft on their computer (like us!), then your file may come out misformatted. As a side note, sending your resume as a .doc or .docx file allows recipients to make changes to your doc, and you definitely don’t want that.Always save and send your file as a .pdf. How do you do this? In Microsoft Word, go to File → Save As, and in the ‘file type’, select “PDF”. Also, while you’re saving your file, name it as “Firstname_Lastname.pdf”. Naming it as “resume.pdf” just isn’t helpful!
Mistake #2: Forgetting to include your personality
Employers want to know who you are and what you like to do outside of the office, as well as random skills you have that could come in handy at some point. At wayup.com, we have a field in students’ profiles where we ask you to tell us what your “fun fact” is. 9 times out of 10, we find on our site that employers look at the “fun fact” of each of their applicants before any other fields. Also, feel free to show a bit of your personality through your resume’s formatting, whether it’s adding a little bit of color (like a dark blue), or not using Times New Roman font.
Mistake #3: Using Multiple Pages
This one is simple: keep your resume to one page. No matter what. There is literally no exception (and art portfolios don’t count since that’s a portfolio and not just a resume).
Mistake #4: Being modest
Now just isn’t the time for a bite of the humble pie you probably deserve. Your resume is where you should boast the hell out of your accomplishments. Take credit for everything that you deserve to take credit for.
Mistake #5: Leaving out hard metrics
Did you increase revenue for a coffee shop? Maybe you grew a company’s Twitter follower count? Give details! Whenever possible, every experience should include metrics, such as “I grew X by 500%” or “I raised $15,000 to do Y.” In the real world of employment, people are often measured by metrics, so show through your resume that you can handle such an environment.
Mistake #6: Writing in paragraphs
Your resume is not the right place to prove that you’re a novelist. Below each job/experience heading, you should write short and concise descriptors in the form of bullet points. No need to use the word “I” at the beginning of each one, either.
Mistake #7: Being inconsistent with your formatting
A few quick rules: begin all bullet points (see #6) with a verb in the past or current tense (depending on whether the action was done or is still being done). If you’re going to end one bullet point with a period, then end all of them with a period. If you’re going to include the dates of an internship/job for one experience (which you should always do!), then do it for them all.
Mistake #8: Misspelling your name, among other things
Even if you think you’re the queen (spelling) bee, do us this favor: first, run a manual spell check via Google Docs or Microsoft Word (whatever software you use). Then, show your resume to at least one other person, asking them to specifically look for any spelling or grammar issues. If you’re still feeling uncomfortable, ask one more person. You’d be shocked by how many Ivy League students misspell their names on their resumes.
Mistake #9: Leaving out ALL of your contact information
Congrats! The employer loves you. But wait — how can he/she contact you, if you left out all of your contact information?! E-mail address, phone number (for you — not your parent’s home) and both your permanent (i.e. home) and school physical addresses will help solve this problem. And for your email address, you may want to stick with your .edu one, especially if your Gmail address has the word “soccer” or “gossip” in it…