I get lots of requests to critique resumes over LinkedIn. And after much review, I noticed a trend in certain mistakes folks make on their resumes.
Some of these issues were small (but still harmful), while others were huge no-nos.
As I began to compile this list, I started viewing other articles on the topic just to make sure that I didn’t miss out on any ‘juicy’ content.
But, much of what I found was advice about “reviewing your resume for typos/grammatical errors” and “listing accomplishments instead of responsibilities…”
It was interesting to find that a ton of information outside of what folks should already know about writing a resume hadn’t already been put out there.
So, I figured this article on the top resume mistakes was well due.
Top Resume Mistakes:
1. Objective statements
I’ve often seen in resumes an Objective statement in lieu of a Professional Summary.
However, we live in an era when objective statements make you look obsolete – and rob you of the credibility you deserve as a professional, too.
It’s a waste of time writing Objectives because hiring managers will likely skip over it.
I’m sorry to say…but companies do not care that you want:
"...To find a position in marketing where you can succeed long-term."
You need to demonstrate why they should hire you through your professional summary, which should also resonate the high-caliber skill sets you’ve got to offer. This statement should entice readers to want to continue learning about you.
2. One fits all approach
You decrease your chances of job-search success when you create a one-fits-all sized resume.
You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but your resume needs to be tailored to a specific target position.
It doesn’t pay to merely reflect your work experience. Give focus to your resume.
Collect job postings on your target position(s) – and study them because it will allow you to learn how employers think about, prioritize and describe these roles.
Then, as you’re writing the content for your resume, you can try your best to only pull out experiences that best reflect you can do that job.
When a resume is visually too busy, I immediately know that the person is over-selling in some sense.
You should know that companies really don’t give a *hoot* about everything you’ve ever done in your whole entire life. They just want to know if you can do their job…
As a rule of thumb - stick with job experience that only directly relates/is transferable to the target job description. Everything else, you can leave off.
Also, avoid using a ton of industry-specific jargon – or jargon that only your last employer would understand.
Some things I ended up figuring out, “Oh! This is just another way to say experience with CRM software… Got it!”
But, hiring managers won’t be so courteous. You’ve got only 6-8 seconds…
And, do away with business-speak statements or complex statements, like:
"Exceptional track record of success cultivating relationships and fostering a culture of exceptional execution through outstanding interpersonal abilities and an established history in team development..."
...This adds no real value and will only compel the reader to pause and think, “what the heck is this person talking about???”
This isn't how you speak for real in person, so don’t write it down on your resume.
Even worse than over-selling, is doing the exact opposite: not selling yourself enough.
I’m talking about when people leave off important information, or cut things way too short.
I’ve had to ask for clarification about some statements from people, and when I heard them talk about their experience, I often found myself thinking:
"Now why IN THE WORLD did you leave that off your resume???"
Stay away from thinking on terms of the day-to-day, and start thinking about your value-adds on a much grander scale.
Managing a 5MM budget is huge…
Leading over 550 in an organization is huge…
Assisting in the restructuring of a company, or helping build out a new center are huge...
…Not “Managed several projects simultaneously.”
Like, can you elaborate sir/ma’am?!
Instead of just using words, demonstrate how you used that skill.
Is there any put real, quantitative evidence to support this?
5. No one can find it
If you don't add certain keywords to your resume, it may not make it past the first round of screening and get in front of a human being.
Research is key when constructing your resume because you’ll need to anticipate the keywords recruiters will be trying to find in the search database of resumes.
6. You haven’t asked for help
Seriously… and not because I’m a resume writer either.
But, I’ve seen resumes with such poor writing and obsolete formatting and have wondered, “why didn’t they just ask for help?!"
Consider your resume a very financially important document. If it does not work, neither will you.
When I see resumes written in first-person – or resumes with pictures, references, etc., I know that this person doesn’t have a clue about resume writing. And, that’s totally OK!
That’s what the experts are for...
I don’t know squat about fitness - or personal finance - so I invest in things/people that could help me because these are important elements for my survival.