Are You Making These Resume Mistakes?

May 26, 2015

If you’ve been trying to find a new job for a little while, but aren’t getting any traction with your search, chances are it’s because your resume isn’t grabbing recruiters’ attention. 

Having spent years as a hiring manager, I’ve seen my share of resume stacks.

What always strikes me is how similar most of them look at first glance.

And, unfortunately, what jumps out is also the many (mostly avoidable) mistakes the majority of people make with their resumes that can cause it to end in the “no” pile!

Are YOU making these resume blunders? 

Here are the most common resume mistakes:

  • Generic, “one size fits all” resume
  • Resume that is so jammed packed that it’s difficult to read
  • Resume full of spelling errors
  • Resume that is no more than a list of roles and “copy/paste” of job descriptions

Let’s delve deeper into each one of these and how you can avoid the “no” pile.

Generic, “one size fits all” resume

You might have heard this before but no one wants to read a resume that looks like hundreds of other resumes. Hiring managers are people too and people tend to like variety, they tend to like something that jumps out at them and stands out from all others. They also like to see at a glance if a candidate fits the role that they are trying to fill.

The best way to do this is to have a resume that is “targeted” for the role that you are vying for.

I’m not saying that you need to create a completely different resume for every role that you apply for.

However, you should:

1) have a clear target role in mind

2) adapt your core resume to fit the skills and experience to match that target role

This way, one quick glance at your resume will allow the hiring manager to see that you’re a potential “match” for the open position and hopefully they will then give your resume a more in depth review.

Jammed Packed Resume

Are you guilty of this resume mistake?

You have years of experience and detail all of it in your resume by cramming it

full of everything you’ve ever done since graduation

Sadly, this is one of the biggest mistakes one can ever make with their resume!

Hiring managers, recruiters and HR professionals only spend a few seconds reviewing a resume the first time and they won’t give your resume a second glance if it’s too long, has no white space and doesn’t help you move through the various sections with ease and flow.

The best strategy here is to keep your resume under 2 pages for most roles and make sure to include plenty of white space, so as to not overwhelm the reader.

Resume Full of Spelling Errors

I get it. Spelling errors happen. I’m sure I make them all the time. Spell check just can’t fix everything.

When it comes to a resume however, it’s such an important document and a key tool in marketing yourself; it’s crucial to give it that extra care and attention and make sure it contains no errors in grammar or spelling.

The reality is that you will be judged based on your resume and will get poor marks if it contains typos and errors.

Have some trusted friend or mentor review your resume and make sure it’s 100%; it’s well worth the extra step!

Copy & Paste of Past Job Descriptions:

One of the most common mistakes people make is to build a resume that mostly consists of a list of roles they’ve held in the past, with bullets that appear to have been copied and pasted from actual job descriptions.

Perhaps years ago, people could get away with this style of resume since there didn’t seem to be quite as much competition in the job market.

Today, you must have a resume that is super impactful and that easily and clearly highlights to a prospective employer the exact value that you could potentially deliver for them.

The very best way to do this is to have a resume that showcases the value that you’ve added to prior organizations that you have worked for.

If you have not done so yet, check out The Resume Booster for a quick way to update your resume with tons of value that gets the attention of hiring managers.