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15 Most Common Resume Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Your resume is your ticket to get a good job, but mostly people do not happen to have an effective resume and so it gets rejected instantly. To develop an attention seeking resume, you must know what makes a great resume and what shades it.

Knowing what to avoid is crucial; whether you are writing resume for the first time or just want to tweak your professional resume while switching jobs. Moreover, if you apply for 10 jobs and get one call only, it’s probably the best time to restructure your resume and make sure it is something that hiring managers and employers cannot ignore.

This article will list all the elements that may negatively impact your professional resume. Following is the list of most common resume mistakes and suggestions to avoid them.

1- Bad Grammar

Although the software which you used to create resume checks for spell and grammatical errors, they cannot fully scan your resume, resulting into major mistakes that can annoy the employer or hiring manager.

The Fix

Double check your resume for spell and grammar before posting it anywhere. If you are not sure about it yourself, it’s always good to get help from a professional resume writing service.

2- It’s Verbose

To impress the employer, you used some really very difficult words that are over his head. Avoid using such words and keep your resume simple and understandable.

The Fix

Use High School English!

3-  It’s Arrogant

There’s enough difference between confidence and arrogance; make sure your words exhibit confidence, and not arrogance.

The Fix

Use humble statements, i.e. instead “Top salesman of 2011”, use “Top ranked sales producer of 20 representatives during 2011”.

4- Copy Pasted Objective Statement

It may not bother you to copy the objective statement from somewhere, because you think it’s just to quantify your resume. But, since, employer screens hundreds of resumes; finding same objective statement as of hundred others is definitely going to bother him.

The Fix

Your objectives on resume should reflect your actual career objectives. Take some time for self awareness and identify what actually you want to achieve and then create the objective statement accordingly.

5- It’s Wasting Employers’ Time

On a serious note, nobody cares what else you know other than the job description they posted. Whether you knit sweaters or actually understand the rules of Cricket, if it’s not in the job description, your resume has no worth.

The Fix

If you’re a multi skilled, multi-experienced individual, make a different resume for each of your expertise, i.e. you might be a technology person but you also love painting and DIY crafts. Mixing them together in a resume won’t go well.

6- Generic Resumes Gets Generic Rejection

Yes, there are hundreds of websites offering resume templates which can save your time, but to be honest, these templates do not always work. If it’s a template based resume, hiring managers know them well, so it will get a generic rejection.

The Fix

Tweak the templates according to your expertise, knowledge and of course field. If you cannot do it yourself, do not hesitate to seek help, but don’t just create a templated resume.

7- It’s Under Qualified 

It’s understandable that you may want to change jobs and apply for all positions that you think are relevant, however, if you aren’t qualified, simply don’t apply! –most of the people get attracted by the brand name and wrongly apply for positions for which they are clearly not qualified.

The Fix

Apply only for the jobs for which you have minimum required qualification at least.

8- Over Qualified:

Probably due to recession or whatever other reason, you’ve applied for a job which required less qualification than the one you actually got. It’s very clear that an over qualified individual will cost the employer more.

The Fix

If you really need a job for which you’re over qualified, try cutting the highest level of your qualification from your resume.

9- Your Contact Information is Wrong

May be unintentionally you misspelled your email or mentioned wrong phone number. It’s not a rejection, but you won’t get a call ever!

The Fix

Triple check your contact information before submitting your resume anywhere.

10- It is Non-serious

Well, there can be tens of things that may annoy the hiring manager because they exhibit a non professional attitude. Just take an example of candidate’s email, i.e. flirtalicious12 @ domain.com or mantastic @ domain.com, which may annoy the hiring manager.

The Fix

Try having yourname @domain.com. In some cases, your exact name may not be available on major email providers, so you can make a combination of relevant numbers and letters to make it look sensible email address.

11- It’s Boring

You’ve filled your resume with too many things and core expertise got lost in it. Now, the hiring manager really doesn’t want to look into it.

The Fix

Keep it to the point; Do not write paragraphs, rather use bullets and numbering to highlight the focused area.

12- It’s not Focused

You’ve mentioned everything in it, but nothing specific. You may try to prove as jack of all, but they want master of one.

The Fix

Have a focused resume, targeting a specific industry or better say a niche!

13- You Didn’t Care about Formatting

An ugly looking resume won’t get the attention ever. Any document without proper formatting is considered to be ugly.

The Fix

Use proper formatting to make it readable.

14- Your Social Profiles are not linked

According to recent studies, almost 80% of employers look for a candidate’s “Facebook”, “LinkedIn” and other social media profiles. These profiles allow the employer to look deeply into your work and associations for making better decision. Not linking these profiles in resume means you’re cutting an extra time you can talk to the employer.

The Fix

Link your LinkedIn profile at least.

15- No Cover Letter Attached

Cover letter is a personalized message that gives you an additional chance of visibility. Having no cover letter means you’ve lost an additional chance!

The Fix

Do not submit resume without a cover letter. Spend some time creating a cover letter that you can use for multiple positions with little or no tweak.

The Bottom Line:

Check your resume and see if you’re committing any of the above mistakes, rectify them immediately and increase visibility!