You’ve been applying and sending out your resume frequently. But nothing seems to be moving ahead. You are not getting any interview calls. So, you start to doubt yourself, wondering if you’re just not good enough. We’re here to tell you that it’s not because of that.
It’s been said that there are no second chances when it comes to first impressions. It’s likely because there are mistakes on your resume that are causing fatal errors. Your resume is your introduction to a potential employer, and if it needs to be formatted correctly or contain typos, you can kiss your chance of getting an interview goodbye.
These mistakes can range from spelling and grammar errors to accidentally including irrelevant or outdated information.
But don’t worry – these mistakes can easily be fixed with a little bit of time and attention to detail.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when making a resume. Here’s our top pick of mistakes you should avoid from ever getting into your resume.
Let’s dive in…
22 Mistakes in Resume that Hamper your Job Prospects
1. Not tailoring your resume to the job you’re applying for
When applying for a job, you should always tailor your resume to fit the specific position you’re interested in. This means highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job in question. By tailoring your resume, you’re more likely to catch a hiring manager’s attention and increase your chances of getting an interview.
For example, Let’s say you’re applying for the software engineer position, and you have written the job summary as good in communication. Now, this doesn’t work to attract the hiring manager’s attention. Because instead of talking about coding knowledge, you’re talking about your customer communication skills.
2. Using an unprofessional email address
Your email address is one of the first things a potential employer will see on your resume, so it’s important to ensure it’s professional. Avoid using addresses that are overly casual or include offensive language. Instead, use your first and last name or some combination thereof.
For example, make sure to ditch the email address like IHearVoices@gmail.com. Keep it easy when you’re creating a new address–choose something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
3. Including irrelevant information
Your resume should be focused on your most relevant skills and experience. There’s no need to include every single job you’ve ever had or every skill you possess — only include information directly related to the position you’re applying for.
For example, when you are applying to be a marketing lead with 7 years of experience, you don’t need to mention your very first call center job.
4. Making grammatical errors
It’s important to proofread your resume before sending it to potential employers. A single typo or grammar mistake can make you look careless and unprofessional. If possible, ask a friend or family member to read over your resume as well before you submit it.
For example, It’s common to mix up words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings – even for professionals who proofread their resumes carefully. These types of words are called homophones. Some examples of frequently confused homophones in resumes include “their/there,” “two/to/too,” and “you’re/your.”
5. Using jargon or acronyms
Using jargon terms specific to your industry or field can create confusion for recruiters and HR managers who aren’t as familiar with the language. This could cause you to miss out on an interview, so it’s best to avoid using them in your resume altogether.
That being said, if the job posting includes specific industry jargon or terminology, the employer likely expects you to use those same terms in your application materials. Addressing the criteria using their chosen language lets them know that you are familiar with their field.
Your Ready Reference Kit For Crafting Your Resume
- About Me in Resume for Freshers ( 31 Strong Examples)
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- How to Show Your Willingness to Learn On Resume Intelligently?
- References in a Resume – Where and How to Add Them?
- Personal Information on Resume – How to Add It Smartly?
- How to Add Your Hobbies to a Resume Impactfully?
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- 101 Examples of Professional Summary in a Resume
- How to Write Project Description in a Resume for Freshers
- 101 Strong Resume Headline Examples for Freshers
6. Listing references on your resume
Most employers will not require references at the time of applying, so there’s no need to list them on your resume. If references are requested later in the hiring process, you can provide them.
7. Using a generic objective statement
A common mistake is including a generic objective statement at the top of their resume. Objective statements are no longer necessary — instead, use that space to highlight your most relevant skills and experience.
For example, below is a good objective statement related to your job posting:
Detail-oriented Office Admin seeking an entity-level position in the business administration market. Excited to join the team and bring a new level of organization and attention to detail.
8. Making assumptions about what employers want to see
Don’t assume that you know what employers are looking for — instead, take the time to research each position you apply for and tailor your resume accordingly. By doing this, you’ll be able to highlight the skills and experience that each employer is seeking better.
9. Including personal information that isn’t relevant
Including personal information like age and marital status on your resume can harm your chances of getting hired. It distracts from the important qualifications and experience you have to offer and may also lead to discrimination during the hiring process.
This type of information is irrelevant to your ability to perform the job and should not be included in your resume.
For example, an employer may see you as a young single person and assume you will not be as responsible or committed to the job as an older married candidate.
Don’t give them any reason to overlook your potential – stick to showcasing the skills and experience that make you qualified for the position.
10. Making a lengthy resume
When considering the length of a resume, it is important to remember that hiring managers often have many applications to review. Due to this, they may need more time or patience to read through lengthy resumes. Note that the average resume length is 489 words.
It is best to focus on including only relevant experiences and qualifications rather than attempting to include every single job or skill.
For example, if applying for a teaching position, it may be optional to include summer jobs from high school or minor tasks completed in previous roles. This keeps the resume concise and focuses on demonstrating relevant experience for the specific position.
Additionally, since hiring managers may only spend a few seconds initially scanning each resume, having a shorter document can make it easier for them to identify key qualifications and accomplishments quickly. In summary, sticking to one or two pages and keeping the content targeted and pertinent can help create a successful and effective resume.
11. Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments
When crafting your resume, it’s important to focus on accomplishments instead of simply listing your duties. Rather than just stating that you attended group meetings and took minutes, highlight that you could effectively record and distribute key points from these meetings, ensuring information was properly communicated to all members.
Instead of mentioning that you worked with children in a daycare setting, emphasize how your patience and creativity helped improve their behavior and learning skills. And rather than simply stating that you updated departmental files, demonstrate how your attention to detail and organization resulted in increased efficiency for the entire team.
12. Being Verbose
Less really can be more, and none can be an excellent example than a resume. Instead of overwhelming a recruiter or employer with long paragraphs and excessive filler words, focus on presenting high-quality content showcasing your unique skills and accomplishments.
For example, rather than saying, “I increased sales,” try “Increased sales by 35% within the first six months in my role.” This specific example is much more impactful and demonstrates the value you can bring to a potential employer. Remember, recruiters spend less than 7 seconds reviewing a resume, so make every word count.
13. Not adding any action words
It’s important to ditch passive language and opt for strong action verbs. This not only demonstrates your initiative and ability to take charge, but it also adds energy and clarity to your accomplishments.
For example, instead of saying “responsible for resolving user questions at the IT help desk,” list specific actions like “resolved user questions for a help desk serving 4,000 students and staff.”
Or instead of stating that you were “responsible for increasing organic search visits,” highlight the specific result using language like “increased organic search visits by 20% year over year.”
Action words are powerful additions to any resume, so make sure to incorporate them whenever possible.
14. Including a photo
While there may be certain industries where including a photo is common like modeling, for most job seekers it is best to leave it off of your resume. Putting a photo on your resume can distract the hiring manager from the important information and qualifications listed.
It can raise questions about your judgment and professionalism. If a photo is vital, choose one that is recent and professional-looking. Make sure it is appropriate for the industry and company you are applying to and that it accurately represents how you would present yourself in an interview. In general, it’s safer to err on caution and not include a photo.
15. Using unprofessional fonts
Trust us; you want to avoid being the example of what not to do when it comes to resume fonts. Many hiring managers are very particular about font choices, and using one that is hard to read or unprofessional can be enough for them to toss your resume aside.
Stick with classic, easy-to-read options such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. These tried and true fonts will ensure that your skills and experience stand out instead of your attention-grabbing font choice. Consider the aesthetics of your resume as a whole: a clean, organized layout with appropriate font sizes and spacing will make a much better impression than an overcrowded design using an unconventional font.
16. Using Too Many Buzzwords
It can be tempting to pepper your resume with buzzwords and clichés, but it’s important to avoid overused phrases like “strategic thinker” and “problem-solving skills.” Not only do they not convey any unique information about you, but they also appear insincere and could turn off potential employers. Showing concrete evidence of your skills will make a much stronger impression than using empty buzzwords.
17. Using a too-flashy resume
While it’s essential to stand out in a sea of job applicants, there are better approaches than using an over-the-top or flashy design on your resume. Not only can it come across as unprofessional, but it may also distract from the content of your qualifications and experience.
Instead, opt for a clean, simple layout highlighting your skills and accomplishments. Remember, the goal of a resume is to showcase your abilities clearly and effectively. Don’t let an eye-catching design take away from that purpose.
18. Overuse the personal pronouns “I,” “me,” or “my.”
It can be tempting to use personal pronouns such as “I” or “my.” However, using them too frequently can distract from the qualifications and experience that make you a valuable applicant.
Instead of constantly referring to yourself, try utilizing example statements that showcase your skills and accomplishments. For example, instead of stating, “I increased sales by 35%,” try saying, “Increased sales by 25% through implementing new strategies.”
19. Bad Summary
A strong career summary should showcase your professional accomplishments and brief, relevant experiences in an attention-grabbing way. Instead of clichés or generic language, try giving a specific example of how you’ve contributed to a previous role.
For example, “executed daily operations that led to a 10% increase in sales.” This shows the employer concrete evidence of your value as an employee. Remember to tailor your summary to fit the specific job you’re applying for and avoid listing irrelevant information.
20. Listing every online certificate
There may be better ideas than including every online certificate on your resume. This one person included 10 different certifications unrelated to the job he was applying for. While it is important to showcase your dedication to learning and self-improvement, the certificates should also be relevant to the job you are applying for.
It is better to choose a couple of certificates that directly pertain to the position and highlight specific skills learned rather than listing all of them without context. Use one or two example certificates that demonstrate your qualifications and leave out any that may not add value to your application.
21. Badly organized work history
When constructing a resume, it is essential to consider how your work experience is organized. A well-organized history can prevent the reader from seeing the connections between your qualifications and past positions.
Listing your positions in reverse chronological order is often recommended, starting with your most recent job and proceeding backward. This allows HR to see a clear progression in your career path.
22. Disclosing your salary requirements
Employers may ask you to disclose your salary requirements to see if you fall within their budget. But be cautious before including this information on your resume or cover letter. It may limit your opportunities, as the employer may decide not to pursue you as a candidate if they believe you are overqualified or too expensive.
The Bottom Line
Making a resume is challenging, and one often tends to make silly mistakes while crafting it.
It is essential to know what these common mistakes are so that you can avoid them in your resume. By doing the above, you will improve your chances of getting shortlisted by recruiters.
The points mentioned above are some of the most important ones you should remember while making your resume. However, there are many other aspects too that need to be considered.
Learn 4 Things that make your resume attractive to Employers