5 Resume Mistakes Many People Make

Like it or not, that old saying your mom, grandparent or teacher used to espouse during valuable life-lesson moments still applies well into your adult, job-seeking years.  You only get one chance to make a great first impression.  For most job candidates, this “one chance” occurs when a hiring manager, recruiter or other decision maker reviews your resume.

A well-crafted resume provides a critical snapshot of your skills and experiences, is often the sole factor for whether a candidate will advance to an in-person interview and even during the interview often acts as a roadmap to lead discussions on the qualifications of your candidacy.  In short, an accurate, concise, impactful and mistake-free resume is critical to landing that job or career-making opportunity.

Just because the resume is so important, however, doesn’t mean that candidates won’t trip themselves up with common mistakes, omissions and more in their all-important CV.  To help keep you on track, here are a few common resume mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Keeping Things Generic

Templates can make great starting places for things like cookies, paint by numbers, and rental applications.  When it comes to your professional resume, however, candidates should consider changing things up.  

If it’s been a number of years since you graduated, for example, leaving your education background front and center at the top of your document doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Some candidates may want to include their last three positions, while others have a wide breadth of experience and may need to show off five, six or more to impress.  

In short, each individual applicant has their own particular skills that make them qualified for the job at hand.  It only makes sense to tailor your resume to highlight your unique abilities to help you stand out from the crowd.  

Errors, Typos, and Little White Lies

This category of common resume mistakes can be lumped together into what we’ll call “bad info.”  Your resume is a representation of yourself.  A document filled with typographical errors, misspellings, and bad formatting will reflect poorly on your candidacy and likely knock you out of the running for an interview or job offer.

Similarly, lying on your resume, even in a seemingly innocent or mild exaggeration, will cast doubts on your authenticity and trustworthiness once you’ve landed the position.  Stick to “just the facts” in your CV and ask a trusted friend or colleague to review for spelling or grammatical mistakes prior to submitting your application.

Leaving Out the Substance

It’s all well and good that your hobbies include alpine skiing, cross-country puddle-planeing and petting your cat Gizmo on Friday nights.  If your resume includes these details, however, while leaving out critical skills and certifications, you probably won’t be making much career headway.

Be sure to list memberships and certifications from any independent or industry organizations that may be relevant in your field.  A short list of “applicable skills” can also be a valuable snapshot to help convince a potential employer that you’re the right candidate for the role.

List Those Achievements

Having a complete job history is an important characteristic of a well-crafted resume.  But while listing your specific skills and experience can tell a hiring manager that you performed a given task, it doesn’t convey what you actually achieved.  In addition to title and responsibilities be sure to provide a list of projects, milestones or specific goals that you accomplished while at each position.  Examples such as “achieved top sales status for Q4” or “successfully managed new software program rollout” will give the interviewer real-world examples of how you not only performed but excelled in your prior positions.

Have other resume tips on what to do or, more importantly, what to avoid in your resume?  Shoot us a message and maybe your suggestions will be included in our next batch of common resume mistakes to avoid.

Article Updated from the Original on November 3, 2017