5 Common mistakes freshers make when drafting a resume, and how to avoid them

drafting resumeDrafting a flawless resume is imperative to building the right first impression while applying for a job. According to Glassdoor, recruiters prefer to hire informed candidates; and a key criterion is a relevant customized resume. Hence, it is important for young professionals, especially freshers, to be abreast with the latest industry standards for a resume. Researching, proof-reading and rewriting the resume, before sending it out is a good practice, as it is immensely difficult to undo the damage done. A poorly drafted resume can lead to a missed opportunity.

Here are the five most common pitfalls in resume drafting and how you can avoid them.

  1. Grammatical errors

    Good written communication is one of the most preferred traits in employees in today’s hyper-connected world, irrespective of the industry or vertical. Your resume should present your communication skills and strengths well. Make sure you avoid any grammatical and spelling errors in your resume as they can stick out like a sore thumb in your application. Such negligence might also be assumed as a lack of ‘attention to detail’ in the candidate. Proof reading for spell and grammar check is one of the primary steps to drafting a decent resume.

  2. Lack of structure

    Recruiters have limited time to skim through each resume and you need to make sure that yours stands out in a glance. While your relevant experience and qualification will be key here, the manner in which you display the information is also crucial.  It is important that you structure your resume in a manner that all the crucial information in relation to the job description can be seen in a cursory glance. Formatting the resume in a chronological order with headers, sub-headers, bullets, etc. makes it less cluttered and organized.

  3. Very lengthy and convoluted  

    Loading the resume with too much information through long descriptive sentences is not a good idea. A very lengthy resume is likely to keep the recruiter from reaching the most relevant information. On the other hand, keeping the resume way too concise, so it doesn’t fully explain your experience and skills, is also a step away from creating a great resume. So, what should be the right length of a resume? Depending on your professional experience and skill sets, a one to two pager resume is ideal. Stick to presenting all the latest and relevant information that highlight the strength of your candidature with respect to the profile you are applying for.

  4. Lack of customization

    drafting resumeA one-size-fits-all approach is not recommended for sending out resumes to different organizations for different job roles. Every company has its own standards and criteria for hiring and you must aim to gauge that from their employer brand, social media presence, communication with recruiter, etc. Insist on getting a detailed job description from recruiters before sending out your resume and customize your resume based on the responsibilities that entail the profile.

  5. Focus on role vis-a-vis accomplishments

    It often happens that applicants end up listing their job responsibilities (KRAs) and leave out highlighting their accomplishments in their past role. E.g. mentioning that you created social media posts for the client is hardly as impactful as – Visualized and wrote copy for social media posts for the client to increase engagement from X to 5X. It is essential that you include your contribution through your role to the team and business goals of the organization.

The best way to master drafting an appealing resume is to keep redrafting it after referring to latest samples and updating it from time to time. You will usually find something to improve after giving it a re-read after a gap of time. To develop a deeper understanding of a resume and what recruiters look for, you can also refer to books on resume writing such as – The Winning CV Blueprint, Resume Writing 2019, Recruited, etc. Referring to such books will not only give you an idea about how to draft a resume but also about how to approach your job application altogether.