The unemployment rate is low, and experts say it’s a candidate driven market. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a competitive job market. You still have to stand out from other applicants – no matter how few or how many there are – to land the position you seek.
We all know that first impressions often make the greatest impact. When it comes to the job application process, your first impression is your resume. Ensure your resume is top-notch by reading our list of the top resume mistakes to avoid with tips on how to avoid them.
Typos and Grammatical Errors – The Most Typical and Easy to Avoid Resume Mistakes
From our earliest school days, we’re told over and over again to always proofread and double check our work. Still, simple spelling and grammatical errors are some of the most common resume mistakes. Many recruiters and hiring managers say they strike candidates from their list as soon as they spot a simple typo or grammar issue on a resume.
Even with spellcheck tools, it’s important that you proofread your resume with care and focus. You may want to explore online proofreading tools for extra peace-of-mind. These programs proofread your writing in context, so you won’t ever overlook a “to, too, or two” situation again.
Not Tailoring Your Resume to the Specific Job – A Common Mistake When Applying for Many Jobs at Once
We understand that it often feels like applying for a new job is a job in its own right. It can be exhausting to find quality jobs to apply for and then submit countless applications and resumes. But you shouldn’t try to cut corners by using the same version of your resume for every job application.
Take your time reading job descriptions and noticing specific details. Try incorporating some of those details into your resume to show that you care about this specific job. Use industry keywords and buzzwords to show your experience to make sure your resume gets noticed.
Not Being Specific Enough – An Oversight That May Not Get You to the Next Step
Remember that you likely won’t be the only person applying for the position. Like not tailoring your resume to the specific job, being too ambiguous is another way to get your resume tossed to the side. The first person who sees your resume should have a strong understanding of your experience and work history.
Try to avoid vague phrases like, “managed West coast accounts.” Instead, add some detail by saying “managed 14 West coast accounts, including five Fortune 500 companies.” You want to make it clear that you’re capable of a certain scope and level of work.
Including Irrelevant Information – A Common Mistake Among Younger Job Seekers
Especially among inexperienced professionals, this is a common resume mistake that can have a great effect on your success. The fix incorporates two things we’ve already mentioned – tailoring your resume to the job and being more specific. Skim your resume and remove any information that isn’t important for this particular role.
This includes past jobs that didn’t provide any experience you’ll use on this job. It also includes personal information, like your hobbies. For more experienced candidates, this can mean leaving off some of your earlier job experience or minimizing those details.
Not Focusing on Your Accomplishments – A Resume Mistake That Dulls Your Shine
A common misconception about resumes is that they should list all the duties from your current and any past jobs. While you do want to share your past areas of responsibility, you should focus more on sharing your accomplishments in those areas. This is your chance to stand out, and that is key in creating a good resume.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to focus on numbers. Did you manage a team of 10 accountants or fulfill an average of 15 graphic design requests per month? If you can translate your work into revenue value, that’s even better.
Depending Too Much On Cliches – A Simple Mistake with an Easy Fix
Like using the same resume for every job, using common descriptors and phrases on your resume is an easy way to cut corners. And like repurposing the same basic resume, filling it with cliches is a good way to get passed over for an interview. Imagine how many resumes contain phrases like, “team player,” “hardworking” and “good communication skills.”
Scan your resume and see if you have any tired phrases that you can replace with something better. At the same time, you should avoid too much jargon. An HR worker may not be as familiar with industry jargon as the person who will actually interview and hire you.
Overlooking the Visual Aspect – Avoid This Mistake with Some Simple Tips
Many times people become so focused on the content of their resume, they don’t give any thought to how it actually looks. This can result in a resume that looks sloppy or one that looks boring. Whichever is your issue, you can fix it in a few steps.
First, focus on the spacing and alignment of the text, and make sure it looks neat and organized. Then consider the general aesthetic feel. If you’re applying for a more creative role, there are a lot of options for enhancing your resume, but even an accountant’s resume can incorporate some simple design aspects.
Overlooking the Final Details – Mistakes with Contact Information, Sharing, and More
These final mistakes to avoid may seem obvious, but it can be surprising to see how often they’re made. Be sure that your contact information is correct and up-to-date. On that note, also be sure to use an appropriate email address, and if you don’t have one, now is the time to create one.
Also, be sure that you’re sharing your resume in the way the employer asked. Use the right file type and the right sharing method, whether that’s attaching to an email or uploading on a job site. You’d feel pretty awful if you created an excellent resume and weren’t able to get it to the right decision maker.
Learn More About Landing the Perfect Job
As you know, there’s so much more to landing that dream job than avoiding resume mistakes. Browse our blog for tips that go beyond creating the perfect resume. We have articles with tips on how to pass the interview, what to wear to an interview, and more.
We also have guidance for professionals on the hiring side. As a top manufacturing recruiting firm, we strive to connect employers with the ideal candidates. Contact us to learn more about our recruiting services.