Top 10 Common Resume Mistakes That Hurt Your Chances

So you’re looking for a job. It’s been a while since you’ve had one, and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself as the interviews start to come in. You have your resume all ready to go, right?

Well if not, don’t worry because it isn’t too late! I’m going to list some mistakes that people make on their resumes so that hopefully none of them happen to you.

Some might seem like common sense but they are often overlooked because the person doesn’t want to take their time or pay someone else for help with editing their resume. Let’s get started!

1. Incorrect or no contact information

When you apply for a job, it’s important to put your best foot forward. If the wrong contact information is on your resume or if there isn’t any at all, that might indicate you are not serious about the position.

When a recruiter or hiring manager is looking through their stack of resumes, the only way they will be able to reach you for an interview is with correct contact information.

If there’s no email address, phone number, or mailing address your chances of landing the job are slim to none because there won’t be any way for them to get in contact with you.

2. Spelling and grammatical errors

When applying for a job, it’s important to make sure your resume is free of any mistakes. Spelling errors are especially common but can be easily avoided with modern technology.

There is no excuse not to have your resume spell-checked; use the red squiggly lines in Microsoft Word or simply paste the document into Google Drive and run it through their grammar checker.

Proofreading is important because it is the first thing that the hiring manager or recruiter will see before they decide if you are worth interviewing. If your resume is full of mistakes, chances are your interview won’t even come up.

3. Focusing on job duties instead of accomplishments

Your resume should consist of your past experiences, where you have been, what you have done, and what you have achieved.

It’s okay to talk about the responsibilities that were associated with each position but don’t bore the reader by talking in detail about all of your day-to-day tasks. Focus on the impact you had on the company or how you increased revenue, saved money, etc.

Remember that your resume is your marketing document so you need to sell yourself. The reader needs to know what problems are being solved by hiring you.

4. Unnecessary buzzwords and/or obvious keyword stuffing

You can tell when a recruiter or hiring manager is looking for very specific keywords and candidates use this opportunity to make their resume stand out.

If you go through your resume and highlight all of the buzzwords, however, it might make the document look silly. If you are applying for a specific position, it is a good idea to do some research on the company and find out what language they use in their job postings.

You can then tailor your resume to the specific position and include those keywords but don’t overdo this. In general, limit customization to the summary section and a few accomplishments.

5. Over formatting your resume

Over formatting, your resume with colors, fonts, and various designs might make it look pretty but it is often seen as unprofessional.

The formatting needs to be consistent which often means sticking to the same font family and size throughout. The hiring manager wants to know that you can do the job so they don’t care about how your resume looks.

6. Making it too long or short

When you are tailoring your resume to a specific job posting, it can be difficult to decide what information to include. If the resume is too long, you might not get past the first page so keep it to one page.

One of the most common errors, however, is creating a resume that is just a few lines long because you think you have nothing to include. There are some cases where this might be the case, but generally, it’s a good idea to aim for two pages.

7. Outdated or irrelevant information

Make sure that your resume is accurate and up-to-date. It’s common to leave information off of a resume if it’s not relevant, such as an old job or school, but employers want to know where you have been.

If there has been a long period of time since you worked somewhere or went to school, include something about your most recent experience. If you are applying for a job that requires education or has an age requirement, then it’s important to include this information.

8. Using the Same Resume For Multiple Job Applications

Each job posting is different and your resume needs to be tailored to each individual position. This includes customizing the summary section, highlighting accomplishments that are specific to the job in question, and including relevant keywords or buzzwords.

Include a separate objective statement for each position if you feel it will help sell yourself more effectively. If you have a lot of great skills and experiences, list them all on one resume but limit it to two pages.

You can leave out the summary section if it’s not relevant, such as for a recent high school graduate or someone who has been unemployed for a long time.

9. Being Too Ambiguous

Hiring managers want specifics. If you list a certain skill or quality that might be helpful for the job, then give examples of how you have used it in previous positions.

“Good problem solver” doesn’t tell the employer enough information to make them interested. They need to know why you are a good problem solver and what problems you have solved before.

10. Misrepresenting gaps in employment

Candidates often leave off information on their resume if they have been unemployed for a while. Don’t do this! Employers need to know why you were out of work so if, for example, you took time off from your job to raise children or care for a sick family member, then say that in the summary section of your resume.

Make sure to list the full amount of time that you were unemployed and in what positions you worked before.

Wrap Up

The hiring manager wants to know that you can do the job so they don’t care about how your resume looks. It’s common for candidates to leave off information on their resume if they have been unemployed for a while or are applying without experience, but this is not helpful. Make sure employers know why you were out of work and include any relevant education or skills in detail. Hiring managers want specifics like what problems you’ve solved before with specific examples of how you used those abilities in previous positions. The best advice we can give for tailoring your resume? Include keywords from the job description!

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