5 Common Resume Mistakes Fresh Graduates Make

resume errors

When creating a resume it’s important to include certain items in order to show you are the best candidate for the job.  Likewise, it’s important to leave a number of things off of your resume.  Employers don’t necessarily want to see the email address you created in the fifth grade (xxC00LGUYxx@fakeemail.com) or know that you played the part of Tree #1 in your elementary school’s production of Peter Pan.  No, it’s important that your resume presents a detailed sense of your strengths and qualities you have to offer to the job or company you happen to be applying for.  Below are a few guidelines and tips on how to build a better resume, especially for freshly graduated seniors.

Professional Contact Information

Too often people will list old email address they don’t use or out of date phone numbers.  If an employer is interested in scheduling an interview or calling you back to get you started you want to make sure they’re able to reach you.  And when you do turn in a resume with your proper phone number try to answer the call.  But if, for whatever reason, you’re not able to, make sure that your voicemail is clear, concise, and above all PROFESSIONAL.  That means that there shouldn’t be any music playing in the background, you shouldn’t have a voicemail in which you pretend to answer the phone only to say that it was a prank later on in the message, and you shouldn’t leave the caller curious as to if they dialed the correct number.

Skills Related to the Job

If you’re applying to be a lifeguard include the fact that you’re certified in CPR and are a capable swimmer.  If you’re applying for a writing position, mention the fact that you were on your schools newspaper team.  Anything that related to the job is a plus because it shows your potential employer that you are able to handle any situation that may arise on the job.  Even if you have little to no skills directly relating to the job you’re applying, indicate what you are able to do.  For example: You want to work at the front desk of a hotel, but have never been in a position like that.  That’s okay though, because you’re a fast learner, motivated to do well, and have a working knowledge of computers and customer service.

References, References, References

Try to list three strong references when it comes to the bottom of your resume.  It can be former employers (as long as you’re on good relations with them), or mentors (ie guidance counselors, managers at internships), or even teachers.  Consider what these individuals know about you and if they’re able to effectively discuss your work related abilities such as promptness, honesty, and efficiency.

Objective Statement

Often times, people forget to include an objective statement which, simply put, is the reason you’re applying for this job.  Without it your possible employer may be wondering why you’re applying for the job at all.  Were you interested in pursuing a career in this field or were you just interested in working to make some extra money?  In your objective statement (usually placed at the top of your resume) you’d also include anything that would make you stand out from all of the other potential applicants.  Try to keep it to a few sentences at the most so you don’t overwhelm anyone who may be reading it.

Employment History/Education

When applying for a job, it’s a good idea to relay any employment history seeing as how this gives your potential employer an assurance that you have some real work experience.  If you do not, however, have any prior work experience it’s a good idea to list your education experience.  Have you graduated high school?  Are you attending college?  What field or major are you focusing on?  This shows that you are aware of where you desire to go and have a dedicated plan on getting there.

Building a proper resume can seem like a daunting task at first, but when broken down into smaller, manageable pieces, it doesn’t seem so tough.  The important thing to keep in mind is professionalism.  You’re about to enter a professional environment in which you are expected to act a certain way.  Your resume should be reflective of this and show that you are able to keep up with the demanding challenges of a professional life.