Every job seeker dreams about having an impeccable resume that can impress recruiters right off the bat and gets them shortlisted.

But the truth is, perfection is a myth. Nothing or nobody is perfect. Not even Jef Bezos’ resume as a boss of thousands of employees.

However, the idea is to identify and embrace these weaknesses, including the weakness in your resume so that you can showcase them in a positive light.

Recruiters are aware that all candidates have some weakness and they get it. But they also expect candidates to be aware of their weaknesses and want the assurance that they’re working on them.

Although a resume is not the right document to elaborate on your weaknesses like career gaps, career change, or an incomplete degree, you can showcase them in a better way and possibly elaborate on the same with a cover letter or during an interview if the recruiters ask you about it.

Read on to learn more about the topic “weakness in resume” and get clarity on related questions like the following:

What is Weakness in a Resume?

What is considered a weakness in a resume can vary depending on the job description of the role the resume is targeted for.

For instance, if the job role requires candidates to have specific years of work experience, but your resume doesn’t show the same number of work experience, this can be considered a weakness in your resume.

Additionally, given below are some general weaknesses examples in resumes:

  • Lack of relevant skills
  • Multiple career changes
  • Incomplete degree
  • Irrelevant work experience
  • Poorly formatted resume
  • Lack of accomplishments
  • Layoffs
  • Inconsistent details and information
  • Employment gaps
  • Job hopping

Also Read: How to effectively answer the interview question "what are your strengths?"

Weakness in resume

How To Address Weakness in a Resume?

Given below are some tips that you can follow to effectively address weaknesses in a resume:

Assess Your Resume Against the Job Description

If you are not aware of the weaknesses in your resume, there is no way you can address them.

Therefore, the need to first review and assess your resume against the job description of the role you’re applying for to identify the weaknesses.

For instance, if you lack enough work experience for the role, you can make up for it by taking certification courses or completing training or apprenticeship programs that can help you acquire more skills.

Write a Cover Letter

If the weaknesses in your resume include employment gaps, career change, incomplete degree, or job hopping, you can consider explaining your reasons through a cover letter.

A cover letter is a page-long official letter that supports your resume and provides you the space to provide a deeper insight into your career trajectory.

Ensure that you explain your reasons in a positive light and put emphasis on how you’ve learned from your experiences and are taking steps to improve or work on your weaknesses.

Hiration pro tip:
Avoid going into grave details while writing a cover letter. Make it crisp, concise, and to the point. The ideal word count for a cover letter is 200 to 300 words.

Also Read: How to write a compelling cover letter for your resume in 2023?

Update Your Resume and Highlight Your Strengths

While you can’t completely omit your weaknesses, you can always lay more emphasis and highlight your strengths in terms of the job description in your resume.

The trick is to use the correct format and identify what are your selling points.

For instance, if you are applying for a sales position and have had experiences in the past wherein you used innovative techniques to increase the sales of a product or service, ensure to highlight the same by providing specific numbers.

Similarly, if you are applying for a bookkeeper’s position and the job description calls for a candidate who has proficiency in using specific software like FreshBooks, highlight the same in your resume.

The key to doing all this and updating your resume is by tailoring your resume according to a specific job description, and not sending the same resume to multiple job listings.

Format Your Resume Correctly

How you present information on your resume also influences how the recruiters might perceive it.

A well-formatted resume that looks professional, follows a cohesive structure and is easy to scan, adds to your strong points and showcases your attention to detail.

The 3 commonly used resume formats are - reverse chronological, functional, and combination format. So, which format can help you combat weaknesses in your resume?

Depending on what your needs are, you can choose any one of the resume formats.

The reverse chronological format showcases your most recent experience at the top followed by the older ones and is a great option if your recent work experience is highly relevant to the role you’re planning to apply for.

The functional resume format on the other hand helps candidates to highlight their skills more than experience and hence is a good option if you lack experience but have adequate skills for the targeted role.

And lastly, the combination format is a combination of the reverse chronological and functional resume format and is well-suited for candidates who have career gaps or multiple job changes.

Also Read: How to properly format a resume in 2023?

Prepare to Address Your Weakness in Resume During Interviews

If you get shortlisted for the role you applied to, it's understandable that the recruiters don’t see the weakness in your resume as a deal breaker.

However, they might want to know more details about the same. Thus, you need to prepare for cross-questions about the weakness in your resume during interviews.

Have an explanation ready and ensure that you once again, emphasize the part where you are working on your weakness and trying to improve. Because although some weaknesses are understandable, recruiters also expect you to be doing something about it.

Ensure that you address the weakness in your resume confidently, without panicking or even worse, denying that you have any weakness.

Also Read: What are the best mock interview questions that you must prepare?

Weakness Interview Questions

For your reference, listed below are some of the commonly asked interview questions about weaknesses:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses in terms of the job description?
  • Have you ever dealt with failure? If yes, how did you overcome it?
  • How do you handle criticism and feedback?
  • Describe a time when you faced a challenging situation at work. How did you handle it?
  • Discuss an instance when you made a mistake and how you learn from it?
  • What do you consider to be your weakest skill?
  • What are some areas where you would like to improve or develop professionally?
  • How do you stay motivated when you fall short of your goals and objectives?
  • Have you ever struggled to meet a deadline? If yes, what did you do about it?
  • How do you handle stressful work situations or tough clients?

Also Read: How to sell yourself in an interview?

Key Points from the Blog

  • If the job role requires candidates to have specific years of work experience, but your resume doesn’t show the same number of work experience, this can be considered a weakness in your resume.
  • Lack of relevant skills, multiple career changes, incomplete degrees, and irrelevant work experience are some examples of weaknesses in a resume.
  • The first step to addressing the weakness in your resume is to identify your weaknesses in terms of the job description.
  • If the weaknesses in your resume include employment gaps, career change, incomplete degree, or job hopping, you can consider explaining your reasons through a cover letter.
  • Update your resume to emphasize your strengths over weaknesses in your resume.
  • Use the correct resume format and ensure to prepare to answer interview questions about the weakness in your resume.

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