Crafting a resume is possibly the worst aspect of job hunting, period. It can be nerve-wracking for people experienced or otherwise, and isn’t helped by the fact that you will be judged mostly off that piece of paper. Firstly, let’s establish the distinction that your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resume are 2 different documents, the latter being a succinct version of the former. Additionally, your resume needs to highlight your skills, accomplishments, expectations as well as perk your employer’s interest all at once.

How? Well, while there isn’t a perfect resume out there – there are certainly a few things one can be careful to avoid.


1) Drop the Objective!

Buzzlightyear - Professional resume dont's

You’d be better off without this one, honestly. However, if you feel the need to include your objective – remember that it’s the first thing your employer will notice and hence needs to be perfect.

Using a statement such as Seeking a role as a research analyst to advance my career in the financial industry’ will only convey your desire to grow as opposed to adding real value to the company.

Try substituting your objective with a tagline simply stating your expertise. It would be sure to drive the message home quicker and better.


2) To(o) Long or to short?
Professional resume dont's - tip 2


The size of your resume should be the least of your worries, but the contents of it your first! People could either nail the bull’s eye here or miss it by a mile, so make sure you check for all of these things before hitting that ‘Send’! –

How do you know if it’s too long?

    1. You’ve mentioned hobbies like fishing/listening to music/stamp collecting for a finance job.
    2. Every one of your previous job profiles have been described in loving detail.
    3. Your resume consists of paragraphs instead of carefully constructed sections.
    4. A portrait sized HD photograph of yours/your name is occupying half of the first page.

How do you know if it’s too short?

  1. There is no section marked ‘Skills’.
  2. There’s no white space on your resume.

If you still find it hard, simply ask yourself this before you write anything – “Will this motivate the employer to hire me?”. You will automatically end up adding only relevant information.


3) All Bark and Show Bite

Professional resume dont's - tip 3


It is extremely important to portray yourself in the best light, however it is even more imperative to provide brief but conclusive evidence of the same. There is no proof of you being ‘hardworking’ or an ‘excellent team player’, and the HR won’t buy it no matter how bold the font is. Instead of using words that you think will convey your professionalism, construct sentences with conclusive information that will highlight your skills and expertise.

For example:

Wrong: “Effectively improved sales last quarter”

Right: “Managed cross-departmental teams to accomplish a stalled development project that effectively led to a 25% revenue increase.


4) The Mail Game

Professional resume dont's - tip 4


The ‘One Size Fits All’ rule is best left to garments on sale and not your resume. Creating one standard resume format to be sent out in bulk indicates a lazy approach and disinterest in a specific job listing. Despite having the required experience, your vague resume could spoil your chances. There are also chances of entering the wrong company’s name – and nothing sends your resume to the trash faster than that! Always take some time to rearrange and edit your resume to suit a company’s specific needs.


5) Proofreading is the mother of wisdom

You might dismiss spelling mistakes, but we assure you that the HR won’t! Grammatical mistakes display your lack of attention to detail, and a general misgiving of incompetence. All your experience and accomplishments will be for naught if there’s a typo to go with it.

Professional resume tip - PaperTrue

Read it out loud, get a friend to proofread and edit your resume before sending it out – or better still, sit back, relax, and let PaperTrue do it for you!