Your resume is the first point of contact between you and the recruiter.
And the recruiters have only 7.4 seconds to review a resume.
So, you need to make sure that the resume is completely error-free and compelling.
If you know the common resume writing challenges and mistakes, then you can easily avoid these mistakes and create a compelling resume for yourself.
This article will tell you the top 15 resume mistakes to avoid while creating a resume:
Here are the top 15 resume mistakes:
- Sending the same resume for multiple jobs
- Grammatical errors
- Writing resume objective instead of summary
- Wrong contact information
- Irrelevant work experiences
- Describing responsibility instead of achievements
- More than a 1-page resume
- Using unprofessional email id
- Adding image and unnecessary personal information
- Using fancy fonts and designs
- Using paragraphs instead of bullets in professional experience section
- Overuse of jargon
- Listing unrelated hobbies
- Adding references
- Including salary requirements
1. Sending the Same Resume for Multiple Jobs
We all are guilty of this.
Creating a resume for each job is not easy. And candidates tend to send the same resume to all the companies due to lack of time and energy.
But the reality is there is no point in sending the same version of a resume to multiple job openings where skills requirements are different.
Even if the companies are in the same industry, their requirements may differ.
Therefore, you should read the job description first and then customize the resume based on the requirements mentioned in the job description.
2. Grammatical Errors
Having grammatical mistakes in a resume is a big turn-off for recruiters.
Grammatical mistakes in the resume show that the candidate lacks attention to detail and may not be entirely committed to the job.
So, always proofread your resume at least twice before sending it to the recruiter.
3. Writing Resume Objective Instead of Summary
Many candidates write an objective statement at the beginning of a resume regardless of their experiences.
This is fine if you have limited work experience.
But if you have significant work experience, you need to add a professional resume summary, where you can highlight your most relevant achievements and skills to hook the recruiter's attention.
4. Wrong Contact Information
Your contact information is the only way for the recruiters to reach you if you get selected.
So, you need to make sure that the contact information you provide in the resume is updated and reachable.
If you changed any of your contact information recently, you should update your resume and cover letter.
5. Adding Irrelevant Work Experiences
When writing a resume for a specific position, you don't need to list all your work experiences in the resume.
The purpose of adding work experience is to showcase your relevant achievements and skills.
For example, if you are applying for a data analyst position, your experience as a store manager in your university time does not add any value to the resume. So, you can remove this information from your resume.
6. Adding Only Responsibilities instead of Achievements
Your resume needs to showcase your achievements and skills. But most candidates don't showcase that in their resumes. Instead, they plainly describe their job responsibilities.
Attended meetings and created MOMs
Worked on fixing front end of products
Updates software patches and technical documentation
This does not show the recruiters your potential as a candidate.
Instead of showing what you did vaguely, try to quantify and specify the bullet points in the professional experience section to showcase what exactly you've done in your previous organization and what you can do here as well.
Here's an example of good bullet points for the professional experience section:
- Oversaw meeting schedules and recorded weekly minutes of meetings, and organized them in a folder for future reference
- Debugged 20+ web applications using MERN stack while improving performance by 12%
- Identified 10+ years old unwieldy files and cleaned them for repurposing
7. Writing a Resume Too Short or Too Long
A general rule of thumb is that a resume should be between 1-2 pages long.
If you have moderate to no experience, it should not go beyond 1 page. However, if you have 8+ years of experience, then it's OK to add a 2-page resume.
Most candidates don't know the ideal length of a resume. And they either try to squeeze in all their experiences in one page, making the resume unreadable.
Or they sometimes add irrelevant experiences in the resume, making it unnecessarily long.
As we said earlier, recruiters only have 7.4 seconds to review a resume. And if you send a 5-page resume to them, more likely they will ignore it and move on to the next one.
So, if you are a fresh graduate or have 3-7 years of experience, stick to a 1-page resume.
And, if you have significant experience (7+ years of experience), then you can bring the resume length to 2 pages.
Also Read: How long should a resume be in 2022?
8. Using Unprofessional Email ID
Using a professional-looking email id is not optional but a necessity.
If the first thing a recruiter sees in your resume is an unprofessional email id, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, they will immediately think that you are not a professional candidate.
So, you need to ensure that the email id you include in the resume has your name on it and is professional.
9. Adding Image and Irrelevant Personal Information
In some industries, such as fashion or acting, a headshot in the resume is justifiable.
But for any other job, it may not be in your best interest to add a photo to your resume.
It wastes valuable space in your resume, and it also increases your risk of getting selected or rejected because of looks.
Employers also tend to reject resumes with photos just to avoid the accusation of discrimination.
Similarly, your marital status, age, gender, religious beliefs should not matter to the recruiter. And in some countries, it's even illegal to ask these questions.
Therefore, you should not include all this information in the resume and focus on showcasing your experiences and skills.
10. Using Fancy Fonts and Designs
Fonts are essential for a resume's readability and professionalism. A resume font should be simple, professional, and easy to read (both on PDF and paper)
If you use fonts like CAT Altgotisch, Brilganttyne, it will drastically reduce the resume's readability, along with your chances of getting selected.
On the flip-side, if you add fonts like "Ariel," "Lato," "Times New Roman," it improves the readability and overall design of the resumes.
11. Using Paragraphs Instead of Bullets in Professional Experience
The professional experience section is the most critical in a resume.
And you need to ensure that this section is formatted correctly, easily readable, and project your skills and experiences effectively.
Many candidates write the professional experience section in paragraph form, defeating the purpose of making the section easy to read and organized.
Instead, write the section in bullet points format. It will improve readability and increase your chances of getting selected for the job.
Pro Tip: Use Power Verbs and Action Words to start the bullet points.
Supervising cash counter management, customer service, and sales with a team of 10+ employees. Additionally, managing 5+ payment methods, including cash, credit card, Apple Pay, and debit cards. Also, I administer inventory management and ordering tasks to ensure high-quality food delivery service.
- Supervising cash counter management, customer service, and sales with a team of 10+ employees
- Managing 5+ payment methods including cash, credit card, Apple Pay, and debit cards
- Administering inventory management and ordering tasks to ensure high-quality food delivery service
12. Overuse of Buzzwords
It's important to include keywords from the job description to make it ATS-friendly.
However, you need to ensure that the keywords you are incorporating are not forced in all places in the resume.
It should sound natural.
If you forcefully add the keywords in your resume, it may get past the ATS system, but it will be difficult to read when the recruiter checks it - a big turn-off.
So, use the keywords wisely and make sure they make sense in the resume.
13. Listing Unrelated Hobbies
Adding hobbies in a resume is good, only if it adds to your candidacy.
For example, if you are applying for a management position, and your hobby is to work as a volunteer for a social cause, you can definitely add it to the resume since it projects your go-getter and leadership attitude.
But if your hobby consists of playing cello and you are applying for a web developer position, then it is not relevant for the job, and you should avoid adding it to your resume altogether.
14. Adding References
References come into play later in a candidate's interview process.
When the candidate initially applies for a job, the recruiters are less concerned about references and more concerned about your skills and experiences.
So there's no point in adding references to your resume.
Later in the interview process, if the recruiter thinks you are the right candidate, they will usually ask you for references.
However, if it is mentioned to add references in the job description, make sure to add only 2-3 references. Don't give a list of 10 people. It's distracting for the recruiter and takes up valuable space in the resume.
15. Including Salary Information
Including your current salary information and expected salary information in your resume may not be a wise choice.
It shows that you are not interested in the company, but you're interested in how much money you will be getting.
The best way to avoid this is by removing the salary information altogether in the resume.
And only bring salary information once the recruiter asks for it in the interviews.
Also Read: How to ask for a raise to employer?
These are the top 15 resume mistakes to avoid in a resume. Given below is a checklist you can use to avoid resume mistakes.:
- Double-check your name, address, and contact information in the header
- Write a resume summary instead of a resume objective if you have significant experience
- Customize the resume for each position you're applying for
- Write the professional experience section in the resume in bullet points and start the bullets with power verbs
- Optimize the resume with keywords, but don't stuff keywords unnecessarily
- Proofread the resume for spelling and grammar errors
- Do not add irrelevant information to the resume
- Do not add an image in the resume unless asked in the job description
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