The Journey to Crafting the Ideal Resume: My Past Missteps

Perfection doesn’t come easily, especially when crafting a resume for the first time. In the early stages of my career, I overlooked crucial information that could have made my resume irresistible to hiring managers. For instance, I used to leave out my past work experiences, focusing solely on recent roles. As a professional resume writer now, I recognize the importance of including certain details to avoid the mistakes I made before. Here are the key elements to incorporate into your resume to sidestep those pitfalls.

Embrace your prior work experiences

As I alluded to earlier, I used to disregard my previous work experiences, thinking they would only clutter my resume. Although these roles might seem less relevant now, particularly if they’re dated, they can serve as excellent conversation starters during interviews. Furthermore, if your older positions are directly related to the job you’re seeking, they may appeal to the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) algorithms. You may wonder, “What if I’ve changed jobs frequently, or have a long history of short-term roles?” In these cases, consulting with a resume writer for professional guidance to transform potential drawbacks into positive selling points is advisable.

Distinguish your achievements from your responsibilities

Another error I made when constructing my early resumes was merging my accomplishments and responsibilities for each job. This approach made it challenging for hiring managers to discern my actual results in a given role. To ensure your resume stands out from the competition, take the time to separate your achievements from your responsibilities for each of your previous and/or current positions. This will create a clear, concise, and substantial resume.

Address your employment gap

People have always left jobs, either voluntarily or involuntarily, even before the COVID pandemic. There are myriad reasons why individuals might take time off from work. However, regardless of the reason or duration, you’ll eventually need to update your resume and apply for a new position. Have you ever considered that you should mention the reason for your employment gap on your resume? Yes, that’s right.

Talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers will notice the gap. Therefore, providing a brief explanation for any employment gaps on your resume can proactively address potential concerns and prevent people from making incorrect assumptions about your reasons for leaving or your activities during that period. This approach will also make the interview process smoother, as you’ve already set the stage on your resume.

Remember, your resume is a living document that needs constant attention and updating. There’s always room for improvement, and now that you’re aware of these three common mistakes, you’re equipped to elevate your resume to new heights. Including your prior work experiences, separating your achievements from your responsibilities, and explaining any employment gaps will undoubtedly enhance your resume’s effectiveness.

Curious about other potential mistakes on your resume? Discover how our expert team of resume writers can help you today.