Common Resume Errors
If you’re looking for a new job this year, be prepared for some competition.
When evaluating candidates’ applications, 77% of HR managers surveyed say they look for relevant experience. They also frequently consider a candidate’s ability to demonstrate specific accomplishments and whether the resumes are customized to the open position. HR managers also frequently search for keywords when screening resumes. Top-searched keywords include:
- Problem-solving/decision making
- Oral/written communications
- Performance and productivity improvement
“In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential for a candidate’s resume to be flawless,” said Richard Castellini, vice president of consumer marketing for CareerBuilder.com. “Still, 33% of HR managers say more than half of the resumes they receive through online sources have formatting errors. To ensure your resume is error-free, be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread.”
63% of HR managers report that spelling errors are the most annoying mistakes they see on resumes. Other top mistakes include:
- Resumes not customized to the position
- Including too many insignificant details on job responsibilities
- Resumes that are more than two pages long
To help job seekers avoid these errors and create resumes that get results, it can be a good investment to find a reputable resume writing service. Job seekers work closely with a professional resume writer to highlight key criteria and accomplishments that will attract employers’ attention.
Employers often spend less than one minute reviewing a candidate’s resume, so it’s important to highlight the right information to catch employers’ eyes and make job searching faster and more effective.
Read below for some tips on how to avoid making fatal errors on your resume
- Poor grammar, typos, misspellings, etc. A sloppy resume says you’re careless.
- Overkill. Anything over two pages is too long.
- Vagueness. Quantify your results.
- Plagiarism. Avoid patterning your resume after the same examples everyone else uses. Hiring authorities get bored with look-alike resumes. Be creative and different-but only to a point.
- Colored paper. Any color other than white is unacceptable.
- Clichés and buzzwords. Don’t use words that you think should sound “smart.” Hiring authorities are not impressed with “utilize,” “flexible,” “team player,” and “seeking an opportunity for me to grow and develop.”
- Tiresome details. If you’re well into your career, skip those college summer jobs. As you advance in age and up the corporate ladder, pare down your resume. Nobody really cares that you worked your way through college waiting tables, especially when you’re applying for an executive position with a securities firm.
- Indeterminate gender. If you’re Pat, Lynn, or Lee, don’t keep ‘em guessing. With certain names use Mr. or Ms. as a prefix.
- Lying. First, you don’t lie because it’s wrong. Second, you don’t lie because if you get caught, you won’t get the job.
- Omitting your job objective. State clearly what you’re looking for. Ambiguity indicates you lack direction and focus.
- Listing your job objective. Note that this contradicts the previous point. Some headhunters think a job objective limits the candidate. If the exact position isn’t available within the organization, the candidate automatically eliminates himself from a job. Do your homework in advance to be sure your objective coincides with an open position before including it in the resume. If there are several positions that interest you, do not include your objective.