Top 10 Resume Mistakes To Avoid During Job Applications
As a young job seeker, you may be filled with good intentions, but your lack of experience in conceiving and writing resumes may show you in a less than flattering light. To make sure you maximize your chances of being called for an interview, make sure you avoid these common resume mistakes which hiring managers and recruiters complain about the most. Some of them come across as being unintentionally funny and may put a smile on the reader’s face, but it’s not the type of smile you should aim for, trust us. Read on for the top 10 resume mistakes and resumes writing tips to make sure you don’t fall into any of these pit traps of the poorly written resumes.
1. Bad Grammar (or typos)
This should go without saying, but it’s incredible to realize just how many people don’t properly proof-read their resumes before submitting them to their job application. Avoid creating one of the funny resume mistakes that will be the talk of the office for about 20 minutes and then get tossed into the bin, never to be heard of again. If you’re unsure about a particular grammatical subtlety, ask a friend or do a quick Google search; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Generic Templates, Impersonal, One-Size-Fits-All Resumes
Many website online will offer you resume templates, cover letter templates and whatever pre-made pattern you could ask for in your search for the ideal job application. It’s ok to go through them a bit for inspiration and just to take a glimpse at how other people write theirs, but don’t actually copy and paste your personal information into one of these pre-made templates. If the person who reads your CV will feel that it’s basically a template filled out in a rush with your name and previous job details and that you didn’t actually bother to write a resume for them, then they won’t bother calling you.
3. Too Vague About Specific Details of Past Experience
Unless the job announcement specifically recommends a ‘bare bones’ approach when stating past job experience, then make sure to add some relevant details to each entry in this resume categories. Most expert tips for resume writing will advise you the same: briefly state what skill was developed by each minor job you had, however unimportant the job may seem. You earned some extra money in high school by distributing flyers? No problem, just quickly mention that this first job experience laid the foundation for your work ethic.
4. Talking too Much about Duties Instead of Accomplishments
At the section describing what exactly you did for each of your previous jobs, make sure you highlight what you actually accomplished there instead of simply mentioning duties. You risk sounding too overwhelmed by your former jobs and too focused on ‘duty talk’. That doesn’t inspire a lot of enthusiasm, and the recruiter will prefer simply calling someone who sounds more confident and perky.
5. Too Few Action Words
You risk giving the same vibe of shakiness and a lack of confidence if you use too few action words and verbs when recounting past experiences or future projections. Make sure you include in your resume many verbs when describing your past job responsibilities and accomplishments. For example, don’t say ‘I was the supervisor of’, but instead make sure you say ‘I was assigned to supervise a team of’. Emphasize with a lot of verbs what you managed to accomplish there as well: be accurate and truthful, but make it sound grand and pro-active.
6. Too Brief
A brief CV is obviously a mistake, but it’s incredibly common, especially among young job applicants. Your intentions may be to stay on point and not bore the recruiter or whoever reads your resume, but all you will manage to do is skimp on the information that might have actually compelled them to see you as an asset, and you’ll also look disinterested. Take the time to write a proper resume and include a 4-5 line paragraph for the description of each previous job you had. It’s one of the best resumes writing tips you could ever follow.
7. Too Long
On the same note (and at the opposite end of the spectrum though), writing a resume which is way too long is almost as bad as writing one which is too short. It will not only annoy the reader by taking up a lot of their time (if they actually read it all), but it will also seem like you’re trying to impress by sheer length in spite of not having any actual accomplishments to show. Don’t make your resume sound like you’re trying to be a pretentious bore and remain on point, in an easy-to-read format.
8. Any Slight Complaint or Mean Tone Directed at Former Employers
Don’t offer any information on why you chose to move on from any of your past jobs, and also don’t imply anything unpleasant when describing your particular role in your past jobs. The same goes for face to face conversations during interviews. It’s almost un unwritten rule that any employer will not hire you if you speak ill of other employers, even if by all accounts you are right to do so. Avoid sounding resentful and easy to upset by shrugging off anything that went wrong in your past work life.
9. Too Plain or too Adorned with Visual Styles and Eye-Catchers
Everyone will probably give you the advice that you need to visually build up on your resume as much as you can, PowerPoint presentation-style, as a way of making it look more pro-level. While the advice isn’t necessarily off, there is such a thing as too much. If the recruiter will feel like you’re trying too hard or that they can’t even concentrate to properly read your resume because of all the colorful attractions and different fonts, then it will work against you.
10. Inaccurate Contact Info
This last mistake on our list may again seem like a no-brainer, just like the first one, but you wouldn’t believe how many applicants ruin their chances of getting the job simply by providing wrong contact information. At the end of a perfectly acceptable resume, that convinced the recruiter to give you a call or an e-mail, it would be very disappointing for them to discover that they can’t actually reach you because the e-mail address or telephone number are wrong by one letter or figure.
These were the most common resume mistakes made by young or inexperienced job seekers when trying to distribute their applications to companies they’d like to work for. Make sure you don’t add yourself to the group of tossed CVs and stay away from any of them.