Common Resume Mistakes
If you want to effectively market yourself to recruiters and hiring managers, then crafting a professional resume is essential. The average job listing typically receives in excess of 100 applicants. With that many resumes crossing the HR director’s desk, you need to be sure yours is on point. That’s why it’s so important to avoid the usual resume mistakes, because a well-written resume will increase your chances of receiving an interview and yield more positive results in your job search. Avoid these common resume mistakes in both form and content.
Overusing Meaningless Words
Resumes that have the word unemployed on them are a big turnoff to hiring managers. Although it’s not out of the ordinary, and there are legitimate reasons for you to have significant lapses in your employment dates, there’s no need to highlight the fact that you were jobless. Instead, focus on accurately listing your employment dates and the accomplishments you made in those roles. “Hardworking” is another one of the most overused and pointless words to put on your resume. Words like this are so commonly overused and are essentially stating the obvious. Recruiters also recommend avoiding other obvious expressions such as “expert,” “synergy,” “Rockstar,” and “accomplished.” These fluffy words are subjective and not very precise in defining your true value.
Not Focusing on Outcomes
Too many candidates fail to showcase their accomplishments. Don’t just list your past responsibilities; focus instead on highlighting the outcomes you achieved. Consider switching up how you describe the outcomes by adding the word “which.” This will help you bolster your work history by giving context to each of your outcomes. For instance, instead of saying you designed a new app, try stating that you designed a new app which increased sales by 50%. You can also turn the sentence around by including the outcome first, making it stand out even more.
Human resource leaders are also quick to point out their frustrations concerning capitalization and punctuation on resumes. One of the most common mistakes is the overuse of capitalization. As a general rule, capitalization should be reserved for proper nouns. Some areas that job seekers tend to overcapitalize are when listing hobbies, skills, and general industry sectors. Refer to The Associated Press style book to help you tighten up the capitalization and punctuation on your resume.
Too Many or Acronyms or Industry Jargon
Most recruiters will tell you that simple English should be used on our resume. The language you use should explain who you are and what you’ve done. Avoid overly complex explanations and cumbersome acronyms. Take the time to write your own resume and describe your experience and accomplishments in plain language. This way professionals across industries will be to assess your credentials.
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