Writing up a resume for a job can be nerve-racking. It’s easy to make mistakes, ones that you can easily miss when you’re reading them over. Oftentimes, these mistakes can mean the difference between you getting the job or not.
To better your chances, here are 10 mistakes that are often made in resumes that could cost you the job.
Spelling Mistakes and Errors in Grammar
You need your resume to look as perfect as possible. A simple error such as a spelling mistake shows the hiring department that you don’t care about checking over your work. Run your word processor’s spell check to catch any errors and have another person read through your resume. If you really need a professional pair of eyes, consider searching “resume services near me.”
Read More: 5 Modern Resume Formats You Should Know
Content is Too Vague
Employers want to know exactly what your skills are and what you’ve accomplished in your career. Go into specific about tasks you’ve accomplished in other lines of work. Don’t be afraid to brag a little, just as long as it doesn’t come across as being too egotistical. It’s a fine balance between touting your efforts and remaining humble.
What you shouldn’t do, however, is lie on your resume. HR managers are quick to catch onto these lies and can easily do a background check to determine what the truth is. You’re only shooting yourself in the foot by spinning the truth.
Creating a Grab-all Resume
Creating a lumped-together resume that you send to all employers is the best way to get rejected. Employers want to feel like you’ve written a resume specifically for them. Focus on what the job proposal is looking for and word your accomplishments accordingly. Do some research into the company itself to see what their long-term goals are and express how your talents fit into meeting those goals. You’re more likely to get your foot in the door if employers feel like you’re putting in the effort to speak with them, instead of as many hiring companies as possible.
Focusing on Duties Instead of Accomplishments
Most resumes end up looking like a list of duties you’ve been given over the years. It reads as droll and boring, and HR managers have read resumes like these a thousand times. Make your stand out by focusing on your accomplishments instead. Go into more detail about tasks you completed on the job. For example, “using a laptop to record the minutes of weekly meetings and compiled them for future reference” is definitely more interesting to read than “attended group meetings and recorded minutes.” By explaining exactly what you did and how the task was accomplished, you’ll make your resume stick out even more. Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments.
It’s difficult to figure out what the right length of a resume is. Too short, and an employer will assume that you haven’t accomplished a lot of things. Too long, and it’s not going to be read to save time. Of course, your resume getting read is also dependent on the mood of the employer at the time. A good rule of thumb is to not go over two pages, but don’t cut yourself short if you have a rich work history. Focus on the most important points that really sell your resume so that you look like a more attractive options than other potential employees.
Bad Objective Statements
Surprisingly enough, employers do actually read objective statements in resumes. So don’t go for “puffy” statements that sound too unrealistic to be taken seriously. You won’t get any brownie points for your fluff piece that sounds good but has no substance. Instead, focus on something specific you want to accomplish by working for the company that also meets their needs as well. A great example: “a challenging marketing position where I can contribute my skills and expertise in fundraising for nonprofits.”
No Action Verbs
Now is not the time to use the passive voice; you’re selling yourself to the market and an employer wants to feel like you can take the initiative, no matter what task is given to you. Avoid phrases like “responsible for” and just write what you did. It’s more straightforward and to the point.
Neglecting Important Information
Don’t leave off information that may be regarded as “soft skills” in the market, such as time management, building your work ethic, et cetera. Employers actually care about these things because it demonstrates that you’ve put in the effort in your past employment to improve yourself as an employee and care about the structure of the workplace. Don’t shy away from including such information, as it could be exactly what employers are looking for.
Making it Look Pretty
Don’t dress up your resume in different fonts to make different sections of it stand out. This will only make the employer annoyed and toss it into the bin. Resumes that are visually too busy also don’t look very professional at all, and give the impression that you care about appearance more than actual substance. Settle with one font at 12 pt, with adequate spacing between the lines so that it’s easy to read.
Wrong Contact Information
Check and double-check your resume several times to see if the contact information you have listed for yourself is indeed correct. Perhaps your phone number changed or your address has changed; if you haven’t made these corrections on your resumes, then you’re definitely not going to hear back from employers. Again, get another person to look it over for you so that they can ask if your contact info is correct.
Resumes should be the best introduction of yourself as a potential employee to the companies you’re interested in working for. That means that you have to put your best foot forward and give a great first impression. Don’t leave it to chance; increase your prospects by eliminating these mistakes beforehand.a