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8 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

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A person making mistakes while writing on a notepad

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the job market has also suffered. Many people lost their jobs, and even now, most Americans are unemployed. In these times of uncertainty and a competitive job market, if your resume is not powerful and polished, you need to immediately do it.

Having a well-organized and strong resume can give you an edge over others looking for employment. It is the most important tool you have with you in your search for a job. But certain resume mistakes can be grave and need to be avoided because they can undo all your hard work in seconds.

Typos, Grammar, and Formatting Errors

Typos, grammatical errors, and any other mistakes present in your resume can be a deal-breaker for some employers. Oftentimes, people overlook the need for perfect grammar and spelling because they don’t want to get into the hassle of editing, proofreading, or formatting their resumes properly. People forget the importance of doing these things because this goes on to show your unprofessionalism to any employer.

Correct spelling and grammar, along with a properly formatted resume, are the key to landing a job. Pay attention to detail, and this will only reflect well on you. It will tell your recruiter that you’re a diligent person and are good at communication.

Ask a friend to go over your resume, so any mistakes or missing words are pointed out. Be careful about present tense and past tense. Format your resume in a professional layout and don’t make it hard to read.

A Person Holding A Resume Sitting With Another Person

Attaching a Photo of Yourself

Some jobs could require you to insert a picture of yourself or a headshot, like a modeling gig or audition for an acting job, but it is always recommended not to attach your photo on your resume. Including your photo could risk the employers rejecting your application because appearances can create a bias and distraction. Employers usually don’t want to be accused of discriminating against some candidates based on their appearances.

Using Passive Language

According to the experts at Harvard, using passive language can make the resume boring, vague, confusing, or hard to understand. It is recommended that you use active language with a lot of action words/verbs.

An example of passive vs. active language can be:

  • Passive: There was a project completion rate of 80% managed by my team.
  • Active: My time was able to achieve a project completion rate of 80%.
A Woman Interviewing Applicants

Avoid Word Stuffing or Unnecessary Jargon

It is recommended to use keywords related to the job or industry they’re applying to so their resume makes it past the applicant tracking system, which is used by 75% of the large companies as of today.

Recruiters prefer these words, but some people can incorporate too many of these keywords into their resume, which can become extremely obvious to anyone reading the resume, and they could possibly reject your resume.

It’s important to only use words that can show the employers how you’re fit for the job and avoid words that can take away the focus from your and your skills, experiences, or accomplishments.

Listing Irrelevant Skills

When you’re mentioning your skills, always make sure they’re relevant to the job role you’re applying for. This will help the hiring manager understand how you could be fit for the role. If you start listing skills that are irrelevant to the job and in no way add to your credibility, the employer can overlook your resume.

A Woman Making Her Resume

Missing Contact Information

The most important thing one should include in their resume is their contact information on top of the resume is big enough and in bold letters. If you miss out on including this information, the employer or recruiter wouldn’t be able to reach out to you, and you definitely don’t want that.

Make sure the information you include is up to date and reachable. The information should include your name, phone number, email address, and in some cases, either your LinkedIn profile or your website’s link.

Not Concise or Easy to Skim

A simple resume with black and white clear headings, proper spaces, and bullet points or lists is the correct way to format your resume. This will make your resume concise, to the point, and easy for any hiring manager to skim through. Use bold letters or italics to emphasize anything.

Make sure all your experiences are listed in chronological order, and the details of all your achievements or accomplishments are listed in order of importance.

Too Long or Too Short

Your resume shouldn’t be too short or too long. An ideal resume should not be any more than one page and two pages, at max. This doesn’t mean you leave out important experiences or achievements but keep everything brief and only elaborate where needed. Narrate everything but don’t make it sound like a novel.

If you’re a fresh graduate, make sure your resume is long enough and not too short. Include your academic projects or experiences, and don’t leave any blank spaces.

Hire the Experts for Help

If you are having trouble organizing or writing your resume, you can always utilize a professional resume and cover letter service. Sometimes, even after doing everything right and perfect to  a T, a professional’s work will be neater and on point because of all the experience and expertise they have. If you don’t want to risk losing out on an important job, you might want to consider asking experts for help.

Our expert and professional resume designer can help you craft a resume that is strong, powerful, and will surely land you an interview.

Resume Professional Writers is a resume writing company. In addition to our professional resume writing services, we also offer LinkedIn writing services and CV writing services.

Visit our website for more information. Alternatively, you can check out our services here. 

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