April 20, 2012
Avoid these common resume blunders
A great resume can open a door, but an inferior one can just as quickly close it. Because a resume is likely the first glimpse of you that employers will get, make it an impressive one by avoiding these common mistakes.
No cover letter. Yes, you need a cover letter, even when you are emailing your resume, posting it to a job board or sending it electronically. A cover letter is the best place to introduce yourself, identify your goals and briefly describe why you are a good fit.
Too much imagination. Resumes that arrive unconventionally, are on colored or perfumed paper or have many different fonts in an effort to make them stick out in the crowd will likely go unread. Employers will assume that if you need to resort to these tactics, you probably don’t have the qualifications for the job.
No imagination. Avoid using cookie-cutter resume templates. Hiring managers will spot them in an instant, and will assume that you either lack creativity or don’t care enough about the position you are applying for to go the extra mile.
Get your resume seen
Post your resume to help employers find you. Use our resume builder, or upload your existing resume to apply for jobs instantly. Three privacy settings allow you to decide who sees what.
Typos and grammatical errors. Your resume must be grammatically perfect. Most positions today require good communication and writing skills, and if your resume is riddled with errors, you’ll be immediately judged as someone who doesn’t possess these basic skills.
You list dates first. Statistics show that hiring managers spend just a couple of seconds looking at a resume before deciding whether it warrants a full read, so be sure to show them what they want to see first. A good order for past employment lists: title/position, name of employer, city/state of employer and then dates.
Your résumé is too short or too long. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to keep your resume to one page, especially if you’ve accrued some work experience. The goal should be to document everything you’ve done, without being verbose. One page should suffice for entry-level workers and those with a few years of work experience. If you have more than six or seven years of experience, two pages is appropriate.
Your resume is in paragraph form. Hiring managers have piles of resumes to get through, and most of them are unwilling to struggle through a tough read. Avoid turnoffs like dense type and paragraphs, and use bullets instead. Think easily digestible nuggets rather than lengthy sentences.
Too much focus on past, irrelevant job descriptions. Employers don’t care what duties were assigned to you in your past jobs. All they are really concerned about is what you have done, and what you can do for them. Focus on your accomplishments rather than your duties. Use statistics and numbers. Show how you solved problems.
Too much personal information. If you choose to put hobbies and interests on your resume, use them sparingly and choose them carefully to ensure they are not potentially controversial or offensive, or worthy of chuckles or eye rolling.
You are obviously not qualified. Some people do this believing that it’s a way to get their foot into the door of a company they would really like to work for. But employers find this a waste of their time and are annoyed by this practice.
No keywords. If you are submitting online, be aware that hiring managers will do a quick search of keywords and keyword phrases to find appropriate resumes. If you don’t have those keywords in your resume, it will go unnoticed.
- career profile (164)
- cool jobs (68)
- education and training (61)
- entry level (70)
- etiquette (107)
- events (71)
- featured (416)
- finding your passion (96)
- health care (74)
- interviewing (88)
- job fairs (61)
- management (89)
- market trends (92)
- networking (274)
- resumes (102)
- salary (85)
- social media (91)
- technology (113)
- unemployment (55)
- work/life balance (91)