Job searching can be overwhelming. From updates on your resume to your cover letter, it’s difficult to keep up with all of the changes and tweak each to the potential job you’re interested in. It’s only human nature to make mistakes. Although everyone knows that, unfortunately when it comes to your resume, you simply can’t afford to make even one little baby mistake because you’re being compared to hundreds of other applicants! Make sure your resume is the best they see by avoiding these common resume mistakes.
Typos and Grammatical Errors
We are used to spell checker buzzing through our resume and fixing a few things, but what we tend to overlook is that spell checker is just a computer software code, not a human! You may have spelt the word correctly but it’s still the wrong use. Or, it may not recognize the companies name and could automatically change it without you noticing. Double, triple, and quadruple check your spelling and grammar!
Resume Lacks Focus
Every time you apply for a job, you must tailor your resume to the person who is going to read it. This means focusing on your skills and accomplishments that pertain to the job description you have applied for. Be sure to keep everything clear and concise with the same format used throughout. Pin point the main qualities the company is looking for in an ideal candidate and highlight them throughout.
Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments
This is an easy road to fall into. We tend to write the way we talk, which can be very informal and less focused. Avoid using phrases such as:
- Attended morning meetings and recorded minutes.
- Recorded meeting minutes daily using Microsoft Word
- Managed a team of 6 team members for our $1.6 million 2014 housing project
Instead focus on the ‘what’ part of that task and highlight your accomplishment and specifics about that accomplishment.
Let them know what you accomplished everyday while at work and not what you had to do. If a specific technology is required for the position (such as Microsoft Word) make sure you highlight where you utilized that skill.
Lack of Keywords
Keywords are extremely useful in resume writing. Hiring mangers spend an average 3 seconds looking at a resume before decided to keep reading. They look for keywords to grab their attention and go from there. If the position is for let's say a Project Manager, be sure to use ‘Managed’, ‘Project’, ‘Budget’, ‘Projected’ and many more keywords to let them know you were a project manager even if your title says otherwise.
Important Job-Relevant Skill Listed at the Bottom
Again, because hiring managers spend such a short amount of time glancing at a resume, they tend to look at the first 1-2 bullet points of each job. Never put an important accomplishment that is directly related to the open position at the bottom of your bullet points! It will never be read and your resume will get thrown out. Be sure to put your job related, keyword filled, best accomplishments as your first and second bullet points. If the position is for a Project Manager who was responsible for over a $1 million budget and has managed over 5 people, and you have these accomplishments, then the first bullet point that is applicable to this request should be:
- Managed a $1 Million Budget and team to achieve goals
Keep each bullet point clean, precise, accomplishment driven, keyword filled and free of spelling errors. You’ll have a much better chance to move onto the interview!