Costly Resume Mistakes

Costly Resume Mistakes

Your resume is your foot in the door when you’re applying for a job. If you can’t get that far, you won’t get anywhere. If you can manage to snag an interview opportunity, you have a shot at getting the job. It’s a lot easier to impress someone in person than it is to do it on paper though, which makes the resume a tough step in the job application process.

While there is nothing you can do to guarantee that you’re going to impress a hiring manager examining your resume, there are certainly some things you can avoid doing which might cost you a job opportunity. Here are the errors we recommend you avoid:

Not proofreading your resume.

This is an easy one to fix. Just do it yourself. What you want to avoid doing is thinking you’ve proofread your interview because you told Word to run a spelling and grammar check. Microsoft Word and other word processors are imperfect in this respect, even after all these years. There’s nothing that can compare with your own two eyes and brain.

Making your resume too long or not putting the sections in the best order.

Your resume should never exceed three pages, and is best kept down to one or two. Furthermore, your most important, relevant, compelling information should be contained in the top third of the first page. If you put it on page 2 or 3 or even at the bottom of page 1, a hiring manager will probably never even read it. Make an impact right from the beginning.

Shotgunning your resumes.

What this means is sending out your resumes pell-mell expecting that if you just send out enough of them, statistically speaking, you have to hear back from someone. Ten well-directed resumes that are customized to each position you’re applying for will probably net you a better result than fifty generic resumes sent out to random companies. To continue the gun metaphor, use a rifle, not a shotgun.

Not providing concrete examples.

Do you have a lot of sentences like this in your resume? “I excel at communication and teamwork.” Or maybe like this one: “I am a problem-solver.” Instead, how about you elaborate on a problem you solved, or a time that you were able to accomplish something through communication or teamwork? Think about times when you achieved something significant in your past positions, and succinctly explain those events. You don’t need more than one sentence to describe each of your achievements.

Ignoring quantitative accomplishments if you have them.

This isn’t applicable to everyone, but if it applies to you, the last thing you should forget about is the quantitative aspect of your achievements. Did you save a prior employer money through one of your achievements? If so, you shouldn’t just say “Saved money with (achievement),” but “Saved the company $XXXXX.00 with (achievement).”

These are just some of the common mistakes which candidates make on their resumes and which can cost you a job opportunity. Not making these mistakes will set you just that much ahead of your competition and make it more likely you’ll catch a hiring manager’s attention!

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