AVOID THESE 20 RESUME MISTAKES!
It’s a great time to be looking for a job; BUT, don’t get complacent in our industry. If you’d like to move on or move up to a more challenging position; prove why you’re worth it. The old adage of first impressions still applies. Turning off a potential employer with a poorly written resume and/or profile could be a red flag right out of the gate. We’ve compiled our list of the 20 common resume mistakes that could take you out of the running to receive the offer you’ve been waiting for.
1. GRAMMATICAL ERRORS AND TYPOS.
It is critical that you proof read your resume several times; ask others to review it as well. Don’t appear disorganized or show a lack of attention to detail, especially if that is something outlined in the job description. Don’t use personal pronouns or present tense for a past job.
2. INCORRECT CONTACT AND WORK EXPERIENCE INFORMATION.
Make sure you have your correct contact information, as well as correct details reflecting work experiences. Inaccuracies in job titles and other details, again, show a lack of attention to detail. For more information on job titles check out this article.
3. USING SPACE FOR OLD POSITIONS.
Don’t include jobs from 25 years ago, working at the local pizza joint while in high school is impressive – just not now. Most likely it won’t be relevant and it’s taking up space for the important jobs.
4. NOT CUSTOMIZING YOUR RESUME FOR THE SPECIFIC POSITION.
Take the time to customize your resume to match the job description for the job you are applying for by adding in the keywords that match those in the job description. This will show the recruiter or hiring manager that you took the time to understand the job.
5. DISORGANIZED RESUME.
You want to make it easy for employers to find important information. If it is disorganized and cluttered it will most likely get tossed aside.
6. GETTING TOO STYLISH.
Don’t get fancy with varying font types and sizes. Be consistent. Avoid using over-stylized templates. Keep it simple and easy to read; that is, unless you’re applying for a Graphic Designer role.
7. USING OVERSIZED FONTS OR ALL CAPS.
You wouldn’t shout at the recruiter in your interview, so you don’t want to shout at them in your resume. Again, be consistent and professional. Fill the page with relevant, concise information and content about your accomplishments and skills. Do, however, use Caps or Bullet Points to highlight and bring attention to exactly what you’d like them to see.
8. DON’T BE MODEST – DON’T BE VAGUE!
Get to the point and be specific. For example, if you saved money or achieved specific sales and/or production goals in a current or past role, put the specific amount. It shows how hard you’re willing to work for your next employer.
9. LEAVING OUT IMPORTANT SPECIFIC DATES.
Omitting dates or using vague time periods can send you to the recycle bin. If you have a gap in your resume, be transparent. Cover letters are a great way to address these gaps.
10. TMI (TOO MUCH INFORMATION).
Keep your resume short, simple, and to the point. The recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t need the entire backstory on a project. Save something to talk about in the interview! 2 pages is still the rule of thumb.
11. HAVING TOO MUCH WHITE SPACE.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of job experience, fill out the resume by adding more relevant details for your education, volunteer work, or leadership positions. Yes, it does matter that you were the soccer coach for 3 years for elementary aged children. It shows commitment and patience!
12. FAILING TO INCLUDE APPLICABLE SKILLS.
Don’t get hung up on subjective descriptions, such as “great communicator” or “very organized.” Talk about your actual skills.
13. HIGHLIGHTING DUTIES INSTEAD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Recruiters don’t care that you managed a team, they want to know what you and your team accomplished. Avoid phrases like “worked with customers over the phone” and consider using “developed goals and solutions for the customer over the phone.”
14. A BAD OBJECTIVE.
Don’t be “fluffy” by saying "Seeking a challenging position that offers me professional growth." Ensure your objective matches the job you’ve applied for. Example: "A challenging Head Grower position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in continuing the success of Morra’s Greenhouses." PLEASE make sure you change your resume for each position and use the correct company!
15. HAVING AN UNPROFESSIONAL EMAIL ADDRESS.
Have a simple email address with just your name. Use a professional email address; firstname.lastname@example.org is SO not appropriate! Neither is “cuddleme2000”. Create a free email account for your job hunting.
16. COMPANY-SPECIFIC TERMINOLOGY.
If it’s not industry standard jargon, some may misunderstand what your role was. Just like your job titles, keep the terminology as close to industry standard as possible.
17. ANNOYING BUZZWORDS OR CLICHÉS.
Don’t use “best of breed” or “go-getter,” recruiters and hiring managers are turned off by these.
18. REASONS YOU LEFT A COMPANY OR POSITION.
You don’t need this on your resume. Period. Trust us, you’ll be asked later!
19. LISTING YOUR GPA OR YOUR HIGH SCHOOL.
You’ll never need your high school listed on your resume (unless you are still in high school), and unless you are a recent grad and your GPA is above 3.8, keep it off your resume.
20. SHORT-TERM EMPLOYMENT.
Don’t look like a job hopper! If the job lasted a few weeks, keep it out. However, if you held a seasonal job in the industry; put that down with the word “seasonal” in parenthesis.
Looking for more tools and resources? Check out the other articles on the Articles & Videos