Blaine and Associates

Blaine and Associates

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Most Common Resume Mistakes

The 8 Most Common Resume Mistakes

These Resume Blunders Should be Avoided No Matter Where You're Applying

By , contributing writer.

Avoid the Following Resume Goofs at All Costs

Companies don't hire resumes, they hire people. But your resume is often what gets you in the door, so if you can't get the interview it's nearly impossible to win someone over.
The strength of each resume is dependent on many factors, including the type of job to which you're applying. Hiring managers at Google will probably appreciate a well-crafted online video resume, whereas if your goal is to land a job as a CPA you might want to stick with something a little more traditional. But there are some things that are mistakes no matter what.
Here are eight resume blunders you NEVER want to make...

8. The 1-Page Resume

One page resumes are long gone unless you are a new graduate without much experience.
Having said that, we still see plenty of one page resumes for more senior job seekers come in for critiques -- and it does surprise me! When a job seeker tries to limit the content of the resume to fit into one page, he/she is cutting vital information to adhere to a "rule" that is not valid for most resumes. Many resumes (including mid-level) are two pages in length and three pages are acceptable for some senior level candidates.

7. Including Personal Information

The fact that you are an avid skeeball player, or that you collect old world coins has no relevance to whether or not you are qualified for the position. So why include information on hobbies, sports, or interests?
If it comes up in conversation during the interview, fine. If not -- skip it entirely.

6. Using a Functional Format

Using the functional format (also called a skills resume) is probably the most deadly error you can commit in terms of the resume’s effectiveness.
Recruiters and employers literally detest the functional format. It does not give them the information they need in the format they want. Additionally, it generally indicates the job seeker is trying to hide something since the functional format is used to cover up problems such as date gaps, job hopping, or lack of experience.
Just the mere appearance of the functional format is a huge turnoff to decision-makers.

5. Too Much Information

Job seekers often forget for whom they are writing.
The recruiter or hiring manager is going to be skim-reading the resume and will be looking for the main points. The job seeker, on the other hand, feels it's necessary to put every bit of information possible in the resume, right down to including that Eagle Scout designation from 1984.
Having too much information, or irrelevant information, is a common resume error that often ends with said resume in the trash bin.

4. Not Enough Information

The opposite of TMI is TLI -- too little information.
Being too general in the resume is just as bad as being too wordy. Usually too little information takes the form of no details on achievements. Most people can get their job duties or role descriptions down, but falter when it's time to detail their successes in some sort of quantitative or qualitative way. As a result, the content is thin or bland and doesn't inspire the reader to make contact with the job seeker.

3. Using Fluff Phrases

The profile or summary is often the most difficult section of the resume to create. As a result, job seekers fall back on soft-skill phrases or fluff phrases such as "good communicator" or "hard-working." These sound good but they tell the reader nothing. These are subjective traits that are opinion-based.
You may think you are a good communicator but your peers might say otherwise. These traits will be judged in the interview so don't load the resume down with these. Remember, 99.9 percent of all the other candidates will also be claiming these skills. Have you ever heard of anyone putting "bad communicator" or "lazy with sloppy attention to detail" on the resume?

2. Mechanical Mistakes

Misspellings are the most common mechanical mistake.
People rely on spell-check too much. Spell-check might be able to save you from spelling mistakes, but it cannot tell the difference when it comes to meaning. For instance, if you write "manger" instead of "manager." spell-check won't flag it. Other mechanical problems include verb tense shift and capitalization. It seems like when in doubt, job seekers will capitalize something just "to be on the safe side" but that just creates an error.

1. Email Errors

One of the most common (and costly) goofs we see is an incorrect email address.
Since most job search efforts are centered around email communications, having an email address that is wrong or difficult to interpret can be a major pothole in the road to success. Double-check your email address to make sure it is correct. Don't use your work email address on your resume, and try to avoid having an email that has the number 1 in it as it can be difficult to tell if it's a letter or a numeral. Avoid goofy or cutesy email monikers such as "vanhalenlvr83" or similar. Email systems that use automated spam authenticators are loathed by recruiters and line managers alike, so stay away from them during your job search.  Remember, you can set up an email address that you use JUST for job search.

Recommended Reading

Thank you for reading. As an added bonus, the editorial staff has compiled a recommended reading list on this topic. Enjoy: