If you’ve ever been in the position to review resumes and cover letters, then you know there are some funky ones out there. But what really makes a resume a bad resume?

It goes on and on and on…

Resumes, as a rule, should not be longer than two pages. Yes, there are exceptions but mostly likely, you want your resume to be a neat one or two page document. You want to keep the reader’s attention and if you have a whole book to read, it doesn’t mean that you’re all that good; it just means that you are not focused.

It’s a guessing game

Including a title on your resume makes things easier for the employer. They don’t have to wonder which job you’re interested in or which hiring manager your resume should get forwarded to. Of course, this should also be included in your cover letter but you want to be sure that your resume states it as well in case the two should get separated.

It’s extremely generic

If you have a lot of facts on your resume that goes across the board and doesn’t really highlight your area(s) of focus, this could pose a problem. This includes your Summary too. It’s okay to have some general statements in your Summary. However, when the facts in your resume don’t lend themselves to any specific profession or industry, you may come off as a sporadic professional without any areas of expertise. You want to be sure that you include important information that pertains to the job for which you are applying.

It’s hard on the eyes

Have you ever started reading something and then you came to a long paragraph and you either stopped reading or just skipped the paragraph all together? That’s exactly what you don’t want to happen with your resume.

An easy fix for this is to use white space and bullets effectively. Keep in mind that you can have too much of a good thing so be choosey on how to use these formatting techniques.

It shows what you did, not how well you did it

A common mistake is to list all your tasks and responsibilities so the employer knows exactly what you can do. However, your resume may be lacking your accomplishments so the reader doesn’t know how well you can do any particular task. Without achievements, nothing truly sets you apart from other candidates.

A side note about accomplishments: reinforce them with numbers whenever possible. Use percentages, dollar amounts, anything that will quantify how great that achievement was. It’ll make a huge difference in the eye of the employer.

Don’t have a resume that doesn’t do you justice. Give your job search a fair chance and do it right…the first time.

Author's Bio: 

Recognized as a leading expert in the employment search industry, Heather Eagar is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Check out reviews of the top resume writers in the industry at http://www.ResumeLines.com