Your Resume is your passport to landing a job, and so, it should be Accurate, Up-to-Date, and Presentable. If your Resume fails to meet these parameters, check the possibility of mistakes and rectify them immediately.
The small six-letter word “Resume” plays a crucial role in determining whether the struggles you have encountered in searching for a job will bear any fruit or not. Despite people advocating that a book should not be judged by its cover, it’s a hard-to-swallow truth that both professional and personal aspects of your life are judged by your resume.
Employers, hiring managers, and recruiters can’t always apply an objective mindset or exercise fairness while examining resumes of candidates. In such a scenario, even a tiny mistake in a resume can raise their eyebrows. Making mistakes in your resume is not a punishable offense. However, these mistakes can make you lose your dream job which is nothing less than an undeserved punishment.
Sure, you can stay vigilant to make your resume perfect. But the irony is that due to personal bias, you might commit resume mistakes easily and find it hard to identify them. The privilege of getting your resume read by a friend, a colleague, or a mentor is not available to everyone.
Therefore, we have curated a list of common mistakes that seasoned and first-time job aspirants commit alike while building their resume. You should steer clear of these mistakes to not only avoid getting your resume tossed in the bin but also create a favorable impression.
Ensure that you do not commit these Resume Mistakes
- Not Making the Customizations
No two jobs are the same even if they have the same job title. Every job has certain characteristics that make it distinct from other jobs. These characteristics can be in terms of responsibilities, eligibility criteria, or any other element. So, if every job is unique, you cannot and should not use the same resume for applying to multiple jobs even if they have the same title or role.
You need to read the job description thoroughly for making appropriate changes in your resume. Find the right keywords and make a customized resume for every job application. A resume and cover letter that are tailored to the job description make you look more suitable for the opening.
- Not Maintaining the Ideal Length
You might have come across varied opinions regarding the length of a resume. While some suggest that a resume should not have more than one page, others recommend that you should not decide any particular limit for the number of pages in a resume. However, just like most of the professional documents, a resume should also have an ideal length.
Your resume can be one or two pages long depending on your years of experience and the position you are interested in. The key is to stick to the most important and highly relevant information for making sure that the length of your resume is ideal.
- Not Showing Small and Big Wins
Your previous and current employment endeavors must have been filled with moments of achievements. You need to highlight these achievements in your resume for proving your capabilities. No matter how small or big your accomplishments are if they can impress the hiring decision-makers and confirm your eligibility for the job, they deserve a place in your resume.
While mentioning all your employment endeavors in the work history section of your resume, show your accomplishments and not responsibilities. “Trained a team of 5 persons in using the latest software” or “Developed a process for content marketing and generated leads” are a few examples.
- Not Crafting a Useful Summary
A ‘Career Summary’ or a ‘Professional Summary’ is the most vital component of any resume due to both its location and its purpose. The attention of recruiters and employers gets drawn to the career summary section in a resume very easily. Therefore, creating a nice paragraph that has four to five lines about your achievements, strengths, and aspirations can work in your favor.
You should use this section of your resume brilliantly to convince the people reading your resume that you are a ‘potential fit’ for the vacancy. Avoid using statements that are too general or vague, such as “Focused finance executive with rich experience” or “A team-player possessing unique talent”.
- Not Confirming Contact Information
You probably would laugh on reading that many candidates put incorrect contact details, especially phone numbers, in their resume. Not just that, some applicants totally forget about including the contact information in their job application materials. While it seems like a silly mistake, it can cost you heavily. Without correct contact details, employers and recruiters will not be able to approach you.
Moreover, putting incorrect information or forgetting to put the necessary information in your resume can be treated as a red signal by people reading your resume. They might take it as a sign of your carelessness, thereby rejecting your candidature even after being impressed with your profile.
- Not Determining the Right Structure
Do you keep clothes in an organized fashion in your closet? If yes, then it would not be difficult for you to comprehend the fact that a resume needs to be an organized document. You should follow a structure while building your resume. The various sections, namely, professional summary, work history, educational details, contact information, and others have to be laid out in a structured way.
You need to choose the right resume structure from different structures by considering your career stage. Recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers should keep educational details above work history, whereas experienced individuals and career-switchers should do the opposite.
- Not Focusing on the Relevancy
The objective of preparing a resume is to show you in the best light possible. Therefore, you need to pay heed to every little detail that you include in your resume. Every piece of information in your resume should be able to strike the right chord with your target employers, hiring managers, and recruiters. Before mentioning any detail, ask yourself a question “Would it help me in getting this job?”.
The answer to the above question should be affirmative for all the details that you decide to put in your resume. When it comes to part-time jobs, internships, and extra-curricular activities, pick the most relevant ones otherwise you might end up distracting the readers.
- Not Exhibiting a Career Journey
Every individual goes through a journey while establishing and growing their career whether he or she has just completed their college education or supervises a large team in an organization. Your resume should describe that journey in a compelling way to highlight your potential. Consider your resume as a movie or a book that is based on your life story.
Now, think about how would you like your life story to be depicted. The answers to this question will help you build a resume that can narrate a story and show your journey. A resume created by carrying out this exercise will stand out from the resumes of fellow candidates.
- Not Emphasizing Reader-Friendliness
While your resume is a document that should speak only about you, you cannot neglect the fact that the purpose of creating a resume will be served only when readers find it interesting. So, you need to make your resume completely reader-friendly. Build your resume by keeping employers, hiring managers, HR executives, and recruiters in mind.
Be careful while choosing words to be included in your resume. Avoid technical jargon and buzzwords as even readers might find those difficult-to-understand or annoying. Similarly, you should avoid stuffing keywords as it can take away the charm of your resume.
- Not Promoting your Brand Effectively
Your resume is your professional brand statement, and so, you should make every possible effort to make it look appealing to potential employers. The phrase ‘Be Humble’ is not of much use when it comes to creating a job-winning resume. You should mention your achievements without toning them down. People reading your resume should be able to identify desirable qualities in you.
You can use different sections of your resume to promote your brand, for example, career summary, accomplishments, accolades, languages, technical skills, and soft skills. Highlight the most noteworthy aspects of your education and work history effectively.
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- Not Checking Grammar and Spellings
As funny as it may seem, a large number of job applicants make grammatical and typographical errors in their resume. Despite being small or insignificant, these errors hint toward your seriousness while applying for any vacancy. Errors in spellings and sentence formation can turn off even the most calm-minded employers and hiring managers as no one can devote their time to rectify those errors.
While creating your resume in an MS Word file, pay attention to red and green lines. Once your resume is completed, check its grammar with the help of online grammar and spell-check tools. You should always read your resume loudly before sending it to anyone.
- Not Using the Clean and Simple Format
A resume is one of the most precious possessions of many professionals as creating a perfect resume continuously is no easy feat. Therefore, you might want to make your resume look extremely visually appealing. But you must not forget the fact that your resume is a professional document and decorating it excessively can hurt your chances of securing a job.
Keep the formatting of your resume clean, neat, and simple. Divide information into several sections. Select the right font size and type. Mark only the most important details in bold or italics. Choose margin and blank space between lines properly to keep adequate white space.
- Not Removing the Inconsistencies
Many times, dates, locations, terms, or other locations that you use for showing your experience or education in your resume might differ with the details used in your LinkedIn profile or official documents. The reasons behind such differences might be to follow the word limit or make the information clearer. But not all recruiters or hiring managers can understand this.
When the job title mentioned in your resume does not match with the title used for the same job in your LinkedIn profile or experience certificate, doubts or suspicions might arise in the mind of people. So, ensure to get rid of all such inconsistencies before sending out job applications.
We hope that we have covered all the mistakes avoiding which you can build a well-structured resume that can help you receive maximum calls for an interview. One of the deadliest mistakes that you can make in your resume is lying. Never lie about anything in your resume. We would like to say that you should not include any information that can lead to discrimination in the hiring process, for example, age and photograph. If you are aware of any other resume mistake that you or anyone you know have committed, feel free to share it with us.