It's easy to make mistakes on your resume, but once you click "send," there's little chance you're able to correct the issues and try again. Let's get it right the first time and make sure to double and triple check your work.
Here are five things that are antiquated on a resume or simply a big, red flag.
Get that address off your resume. It's an old-school style to include where you live. If you're applying to a job out of your area, that typically means you're willing to move. The HR professional and recruiter can already gather where you may live based on your most recent job position; where you currently live and why you want to move to [X] town will naturally come up in conversation during the interview or phone screening. No need to highlight your address on your resume and get kicked out of the running before you can even advocate for yourself verbally.
Delete! References take up too much coveted space on your resume that you can use instead to prove why you are right for the job. Don't get me wrong, you should definitely have references ready to go the second someone asks, but keep them in a safe place somewhere else on your computer.
3. General Resume - "One Size Fits All"
Every resume needs to be customized, tailored to the specific job description that you're applying to. This is important in showing how you are a direct fit to the role that you are after. This doesn't mean you can't have a "master resume." With a master resume, you have the bulk of your experience ready to go, and then you use that as a base as you customize for a particular job.
4. Bad Grammar and Typos
If I were to guess, you're thinking that I'm stating the obvious. And yet there are thousands of resumes floating out there that have horrible typos and bad grammar. Try reading your resume out loud. It's easier to catch spelling and grammar mistakes when you hear the bullet point and how it flows. Some also suggest reading your resume backwards starting from the bottom right corner. This forces your eyes to read each word individually rather than have your brain automatically fill in phrases and sentences.
5. Busy, Cramped Aesthetics
Your resume needs to be easy to skim. If the margins are too small and the resume is packed with words no matter what font size, the reader has to actively search for relevant information. If you got handed a piece of paper like that, would you read it? Make sure there's white space, which helps focus the eyes on the most important information. If you're in a field conducive to more nontraditional, colorful resumes, limit your creativity to one or two bold features. You don't want to overwhelm the resume reader, instead you want to use the creativity as a way to draw attention to the content of your resume.
Sarah Sax is the founder of Write For The Job.