Five Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid
You’ve applied to numerous jobs, and you’re hopeful for a quick response. So why does it seem like all your applications have disappeared into the black hole of the internet? We can tell you right now that it’s not because you’re unqualified. There might, however, be a mistake or a lack of specific details that’s preventing your resume from achieving that full “wow” factor with potential employers.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, one in four HR managers spend less than 30 seconds initially reviewing a resume, so it’s more important than ever to ensure yours catches their eye. So how do you keep a recruiter from tossing your resume aside? Here are five common mistakes you can start avoiding now to get the results you’d like to see during the job search.
1. Misspellings and Grammatical Errors
A simple grammatical error can instantly end your chances of a follow-up from a recruiter. Even if you think you’ve proofed your resume enough on your own, you still could be missing something crucial. Let your work be seen by a fresh set of eyes and have someone else read it over: a family member, friend, or one of our professional resume writers. The last thing you want is it be disqualified from a job because of an overlooked error, especially when CareerBuilder tells us that 77% of recruiters voted that typos or bad grammar is an instant deal-breaker.
2. Format Inconsistency
Not only should your resume be written correctly, but it must also be visually laid out appropriately. Each industry is different, meaning some companies expect a more uniform look while others are open to creativity. Regardless, don’t let your resume get out of hand by using a number of different fonts, graphics or images, and colors. Keeping it neat, clean, and easy to read is your best plan. You should also make sure that your resume is formatted into a document that is easy to open and read from any recruiters’ computer or device. A PDF is the safest format to send, as it doesn’t change depending on a computer’s operating system.
3. Using Made-up Information
That job posting might sound perfect, but do you meet all the requirements necessary to fill the position? Although it may be tempting to build up your resume with some exaggerations, don’t think that recruiters won’t notice. Looking at the same CareerBuilder Survey, 75% of human resource managers have caught a lie on a resume. Instead of misrepresenting your education or experience, focus on qualities that make you stand out as a strong candidate.
4. Not Including Keywords that Match the Job
The goal of your resume is to show potential employers that you have the knowledge and experience for the job they’re looking to fill. That means they expect to see specific keywords and information in your resume that goes along with their job post description. If they don’t see enough evidence that points toward you being the right fit for the position, you may not get a call for that interview. Make sure you thoroughly read a job description and target your resume around that specific job’s requirements.
5. Forgetting to Identify Accomplishments
For years, it’s been common practice to include responsibilities for previous jobs on your resume. And while that still remains a key part of your resume, listing your accomplishments alongside those responsibilities is becoming a necessity with recruiters. How have your prior duties and experiences helped strengthen your previous employer’s company? This allows recruiters to see how you could help their companies do the same. And if you can put quantifying statistics behind your accomplishments, even better!
At MJW Careers, we want to see our clients succeed in the jobs they desire, and that starts with a powerful resume to open the door to those opportunities. If you’re looking for a professional eye to improve your resume, we’re to help. Contact us today and let’s get started!