Having trouble finding job after sending out hundreds of resumes that were all turned down by employers? Professional resume writers – such as myself, understand.
It’s understandable that you’re now thinking if there’s something wrong with your resume.
It is not an easy task to find a job.
Lack of work affects not just your financial account, but also your confidence and self-esteem. It’s impossible not to feel frustrated or bitter after receiving nothing except “best of luck in your future job applications,” especially when we know we’re a wonderful fit.
Your resume’s best chance of success is to stand out and make an impression. There is one stipulation: it must be a pleasant impression. Unfortunately, there are a slew of all-too-common resume mistakes that will stick with HR and recruiters as the person they don’t want to hire.
Starting with the basics, we’ll go through the 15 easily avoidable resume mistakes you should be aware of before applying for your next job.
- Missing Essential or Having Wrong Information
As a job seeker, you should avoid using an unprofessional email address at all costs. It’s an instant turn-off for hiring managers, believe me.
In addition, one of the most common resume mistakes is omitting important contact information and giving incorrect job dates.
Head-hunters and recruiters will quickly notice if you don’t include your email address at all, or if you enter erroneous contact information. If you uncover any inaccuracies in your education or work dates after you’ve delivered your resume, it’s preferable to resubmit your application.
So, it’s well worth your time to double-check these minor facts that might have a significant impact on your chances of getting employed.
- Including (too much) Too Personal Details
“Too much information” is easily added to the list of bad resume examples.
Marital status, country of origin, and even religious beliefs were once included on resumes. This was because, back in the day, recruiters were interested in knowing this information.
Employers can no longer inquire about these issues while making a hiring choice. This is why you should avoid stuffing your resume with information that recruiters aren’t interested in. Instead, concentrate on the crucial details and portray yourself as the ideal applicant for the job by emphasising your qualifications.
- No Personality
One of the most common resume mistakes, in my opinion, is failing to include your personality into the paper. People are still apprehensive about displaying their personalities on their resumes. They believe it is childish and unprofessional. They believe that information like this should be included in a cover letter, but do employers still read cover letters?
The year is 2021, and resumes have evolved.
Consider how many resumes those job recruiters will be reviewing. Then assume that your résumé is identical to everyone else’s – it’s tough to tell you apart from the other candidates who applied for the same job.
Firm culture, or a company’s personality, is becoming increasingly important as a method to brand a company and keep people pleased. Hiring people that are similar or have similar interests is one approach for businesses to establish a healthy company culture. That’s why they’ll want to see more sections in your resume that reveal your personality – therefore make their job easy by presenting your delightful self!
There’s nothing wrong with revealing your personality as long as you do so in an intelligent and genuine manner. This is where creativity comes in handy: it can help you highlight the unique experiences you’ve had that other are unlikely to have.
- Vague or Irrelevant Objective Statement
Are you being particular when drafting your resume, or are you taking a detour and heading in the wrong direction? Perhaps you’re employing too many buzzwords?
Delete anything extraneous or unrelated. Whatever you say must be specific and consistent with the things recruiters are looking for.
And, in order for your resume to connect, it must be consistent and have a decent flow.
Read your resume aloud to ensure that everything is in order. You’ll notice that some passages sound strange. When it comes to the portions that sound strange, rewrite them and adjust the language until they sound approximately right.
It’s also a no-no to use ambiguous terminology. Here are a few words you should avoid using:
If you want to talk about any previous achievements, be precise and cite figures or evidence if feasible. Which of the following, for example, sounds more genuine:
- “I think I’m good at closing deals over the phone.” I earned more sales in my previous employment as a salesperson…”
- “I’m a natural at closing sales over the phone.” I earned 20% more revenue in my previous employment as a salesperson…”
Based on the examples, the second one appears to be superior. The claim is firm, and the fact that it is backed up by a number – “I’ve increased sales by 20%” – lends credence to it.
As professional resume writers’ advice – use action verbs in your resume to make it sound more authoritative.
Every day, the number of errors on the list becomes longer. At the very least, use a content analyzer to assist you focus on being direct and demonstrating the value you need to demonstrate without being confusing.
Did you truly work there for six months as an intern? Are you sure you can communicate in six languages? In just a month, did you grow your Twitter account by 6,000 followers? If your answer to such inquiries is “essentially,” you should rethink your approach.
In other words, all of the information you supply must be 100% accurate. Keep in mind that in today’s environment, recruiters can confirm the majority of data with a few clicks and phone calls.
Explain why you were unemployed for a period of time if you have any. There should be no serious issues as long as you defend it with a reasonable rationale.
At any case, confidence is the most valuable commodity you may have in an interview. Holding the concept that you weren’t completely honest on your resume is a sure-fire method to replace confidence with shame and paranoia, which isn’t exactly a prescription for success.
Stick to the truth and be proud of it.
- Obvious Skills and Clichés
If you’re writing your resume on autopilot (which, let’s face it, many of us are), it’s easy to fall into the trap of using clichés, passive voice, and even fluff. The problem with this is that, at best, it will cause the reader to overlook your resume, and at worst, it will cause them to roll their eyes. Needless to say, this is not how you land an interview, and it’s another resume mistake to avoid.
Avoid bringing up obvious skills that anyone could bring up. For instance, you’re discussing how you honed your basic IT skills using applications that everyone is familiar with, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
Don’t emphasise on basic talents, and don’t use any funny skills, like saying you’re an excellent wingman who was able to set up a date between two other employees in your former workplace — it’ll make everyone reading squirm.
- Lacks Visual Appearance (Font, Colour, Design, and Layout)
Wouldn’t you like to utilise software that is straightforward to operate and follow rather to something that is unnecessarily complicated and confusing?
Similarly, if your resume is difficult to read or not aesthetically appealing, it will result in the following symptoms:
Because it’s an eyesore, there’s a risk you’ll be rejected before they even start reading your resume.
Use a variety of fonts, graphs, and vivid colours to keep your resume from getting out of hand. Use bullet points, preserve your margins at least one inch on all sides, and pay attention to white space and font size. It’s also a good idea to avoid using phrases that are overly long.
To put it another way, keep it nice, clean, and simple to read.
So, let’s get back to fonts. Fonts, while sometimes underestimated, play a significant role in whether or not you obtain the job.
Try to spot the good and bad font selections in the following examples:
- My Resume
- My Resume
- MY Resume
In comparison to the others, the second font is the best to use; it’s more necessary to have a clean, readable, and scannable resume than to try to look lavish or as convoluted as the universe. Read our useful post on the subject if you’re not sure about your font selection.
Make it simple for your employers to understand your resume; don’t make it difficult for them to do so.
(Depending on the company’s Applicant Tracking System, you may be asked to provide your resume in a specific format.) Unless otherwise specified, sending your resume as a PDF is the safest option – the major reason being that a PDF does not vary depending on the computer’s operating system.)
It’s more important to have clarity — it should appear rational and genuine.
You should not only use a clean font that is readable, but you should also use modern resume templates that are eye-catching. The finest layouts are those that get the job done, so don’t go overboard with beautiful fonts or layouts merely for the sake of looking fancy.
Colour choices have an influence as well, so make the proper ones, but don’t go overboard and keep it professional.
As an example of a good format, consider the following:
- Typographical and Grammatical Errors
As professional resume writers’ advice – any typos, spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes will automatically send your resume to the reject pile.
You’d be surprised at how many terrible resumes make on to recruiters’ desks. On your resume, sloppiness, overused words, grammar problems, or excessive punctuation are simply unacceptable.
Yet how do you spot these common but frequently overlooked resume flaws?
After you’ve finished your résumé, go to bed and forget about it. Then take another look at it with new eyes. By proofreading your work thoroughly, you can simply prevent your resume from getting tossed out.
Reading all of the information backwards is a tactic I occasionally employ, as it pushes you to slow down and detect more problems. Then, just to be safe, show it to a trusted friend (obviously, a spell-checker should factor in as well). After you’ve completed all of these steps, you may confidently send your resume out.
Remember that you can always modify, but there is no going back once you hit “send”
- Not Tailored for The Job Posting
You get nothing in exchange for the time and effort you put into crafting your resume for that job posting. That’s understandable and to be expected if you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.
There are two things you should do before you start writing your resume:
- Know Exactly What You’re Getting Into
One of your first tasks should be to look through the employment requirements thoroughly before you begin writing your resume. Pay attention to the terms, they use to figure out who they’re really looking for.
You should know what kind of person they are looking for, as well as what you should include and avoid.
- Research the Company
Examine the company’s website, social media profiles, blog, and other online presences. Then pose the following questions to yourself:
- “What’s their company culture?”
- “What kind of people work there?”
- “Would you fit in the team?”
All of this information will offer you a good start and provide your ideas for how to design, write, and feel your resume. Make it unique to the organisation and the requirements of the job.
After that, use a free assessment tool to see if your resume truly matches the job description.
- Keywords and Phrases
Using keywords and phrases to boost your chances of receiving a response is something you should do. You might be doing this automatically if you’ve studied the rules carefully and understand what the work entails, as described before.
The keywords in your resume, on the other hand, should be the exact terms that the recruiters are looking for. If the job you’re applying for requires meticulous attention to detail, for example, your resume will be scrutinised to determine if you’ve included that phrase.
Look for words and phrases that they would like to see on your resume and use them. Use those words directly in your resume to pique their interest in working with you.
Using a free tool, you can simply match your resume to the job description in three simple steps.
(Quick reminder: don’t just blatantly copy and paste the job description)
- Your social media Account
You might be seeking for a job as a social media manager or content marketer in the business, finance, or marketing sectors. There’s a considerable probability they’ll look at your social media profile if you’re in a position like this. There shouldn’t be any issues as long as your profile doesn’t contain anything offensive.
On the other hand, a video showing you being inebriated on a Saturday night could sway their choice on whether or not to hire you.
To improve your chances, take the effort to clean up anything incorrect on your social media accounts shortly before mailing your resume. Your LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, should be clean.
- Looking In the Wrong Place
There’s a chance you’ve made it this far without making any of the above-mentioned resume mistakes.
However, it’s possible that you’re not getting the result you want because you’re looking in the wrong location.
As professional resume writers’ advice – if your resume is written expressly for a job as a mechanical engineer, but you’re looking to work as a doctor at a medical health centre, your chances are little to none.
As a result, no matter how impressive your résumé is, if you’re in the wrong position, you won’t be appreciated the same way. It won’t matter how wonderful it is since it won’t matter in the end because you won’t have the relevant experiences, qualifications, or accomplishments.
Even if you’re applying in the proper areas, you never know how long it will take you to find a new job. It is dependent on a number of factors. It may be simple and quick for some, but it will take a little longer for others. A job calculator is one approach to get an idea of how long it will take.
- Outdated Resumes
Never submit an out-of-date résumé; it should always be current and include all important information.
Consider omitting that summer job from ten years ago.
It’s merely a distraction in your work history unless you accomplished something noteworthy and relevant to the job position, you’re going for. I like to use the rule of thumb of looking at every piece of information on my resume and asking myself if it improves the resume’s effectiveness. I cut anything that doesn’t bring value.
Your resume’s experience section should grow in lockstep with you.
- Responsibilities VS Accomplishments
Never submit a résumé that is out of date; it should always be current and contain all pertinent information.
Consider leaving out that ten-year-old summer job.
Unless you accomplished something exceptional and related to the job position, you’re applying for, it’s just a distraction in your work history. I prefer to look at every piece of material on my resume and ask myself if it increases the resume effectiveness. Anything that doesn’t add value gets cut.
The experience part of your resume should expand together with you.
- Paid vs Unpaid Work Experience
Another typical resume mistake is that many feel that paid experience is the only experience that counts. However, this severely restricts your options for showcasing your abilities and achievements.
Consider volunteering, restoring an old car, overcoming a disease, or learning how to sew and manufacture your own clothes. To put it another way, what makes you proud and demonstrates your abilities?
These don’t have to be related to your work title in any way. If you back it up with solid facts, data, and figures, it can be one of the most eye-catching sections on a resume. In addition, such an event might be a terrific conversation starter in an interview.
To create your resume for each job position you’re looking for, use the above-mentioned guidelines from this post.
Takeaways: Resume Mistakes
What to do if submitted resume with a mistake?
Answering the following questions can help you decide what to do if you make a mistake on a job application.
How Bad Is the Mistake?
Although a grammar error will not win a candidate any points, it does not carry the same weight as, say, entering the incorrect employment dates for a previous job.
It’s advisable to resubmit your application if you uncover a substantial factual inaccuracy after you’ve applied. If mistakes in your dates of employment, job titles, or degree information are uncovered after you’ve been recruited, you could be fired. It may seem more convenient to mention an incorrect fact during the interview process, but spoken interactions are readily forgotten, so having the amended application on file is preferable.
Employers, on the other hand, may not notice a misspelt term while skimming through your resume and application. In this scenario, it’s possible that letting go is the best option.
What Is the Job?
Consider how the mistake will impact your candidacy. An employer might frown at a misspelling on a restaurant management application, but ignore it if the applicant has extensive industry experience and excellent customer service abilities. A job seeker searching for work as an editor, on the other hand, could be better off admitting the mistake, which at the very least demonstrates a commitment to getting things right—even if it’s after the fact.
Is There an Easy Fix?
Finally, evaluate what steps would be required to correct the error. If you applied online, you may be able to log in and upload an updated résumé through the employer’s application tracking system (ATS). The benefit of this method is that you don’t have to explain why you’re submitting a new version, and the old one is likely to be deleted.
You can still take efforts to correct any vital information if there isn’t a way to go back and amend your error without the employer knowing. Assume you sent your application papers through email to a certain person or email address. Simply email the contact an updated version along with a brief explanation.
What if you made an error that wasn’t serious enough to require resubmission but that you should nonetheless correct at some point? You can bring it up throughout your interview by linking it into pertinent issues. When addressing your team leadership experience, for example, you may say: I think it’s vital to emphasise that after submitting my resume, I noticed that the number of members on my team should have been eight rather than twelve. ‘The other four team members I originally mentioned were cross-functional resources I assisted in coordinating.’
Yes, admitting a mistake can be unsettling. However, it also exhibits honesty and conscientiousness, which are two excellent qualities in a potential employee!
Learn From Your Mistakes
While making a mistake on a job application isn’t ideal, it isn’t impossible to overcome. If you see an issue, take a deep breath and consider whether it’s something that has to be fixed right now. Then, as a result of your error, resolve to double (and triple!) check everything the next time, and give yourself a pat on the back for everything you’ve accomplished during your job hunt.
Need more insights on the same? Get in touch with a professional resume builder today!