Resume mistakes could cost you the interview, which will ultimately cost you the job. What are the most common resume mistakes and how do you avoid them?
Typos are probably the most common resume mistakes. People make mistakes that spell check doesn’t catch—but hiring managers do. Take the time to put your resume down for a bit and come back to it with fresh eyes and look it over. Even better, give it to a friend to look it over for you before you send it.
Use complete words, spelled correctly.
Never include a photo on your resume. Photos might be included in other countries on CVs, but in the United States, the rules are different. Anti-discrimination laws could make an employer throw out every resume with a photo so they can’t be accused of bias either way.
(See this article on why photos are required on LinkedIn profiles but not resumes.)
Not Taking the Time to Tailor the Resume for the Job
Your resume is a marketing document for you. You want it to ‘sell’ you to the hiring manager for that job and make them want to find out more.
If you’re applying for a specific job, take the time to tailor your resume for that job with that employer. Use the job description for clues on what language to use and what skills that company considers especially important and incorporate those into your resume—but don’t copy and paste the job description.
If you have a lot of experience, you’ll naturally want to pack that all in on your resume—but don’t. A big, wordy, dense resume will cause a hiring manager’s eyes to skip around and miss important information. Typically, they don’t read resumes carefully on the first go-round. They skim them quickly and narrow down the list fast.
Make sure they see your most relevant information by highlighting it with bullet points. The white space draws attention.
If you do have a lot of experience, you can choose the best things to highlight and have a truly impressive resume.
Not Including Quantification
Each bullet point that describes what you did in that job should include (as much as possible) quantification. That means to describe what you did using numbers, dollars, and percentages.
Quantifying your accomplishments grabs a hiring manager’s attention like nothing else. Not including those numbers is a mistake that could keep them from seeing your true value as a potential employee.
Read more about how to quantify your resume here: Write a Resume That POPS!
Yes, you want your resume to stand out…but the way to make it stand out is to be professional, not odd. Career Builder ran a survey to gather outrageous resume mistakes and found that hiring managers have received some truly weird resumes. One listed online video gaming experience leading a warrior clan as leadership experience. Another included jail time for assaulting a former boss. Yet another wasn’t even a written resume…it was a music video.
More common resume weirdness might be listing an email address that is a little too casual, like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org,’ ‘email@example.com,’ or even cutsie ones like ‘AnnasMom@gmail.com.’
The email address on your resume should be some version of your actual name. If you’re stuck because you have a common name, Mashable has some ideas that may help.
Your resume is your professional introduction to a company. The way to make it memorable is to make it easy to read, tailor it for that job, add numbers to describe your accomplishments, and eliminate mistakes.
If you want more help with writing a perfect resume, check out our Extreme Resume Makeover Kit.