Your resume has either gotten you an interview, or it hasn’t. If the former, there are still challenges ahead of you that can derail your chances to get hired says Peter Decaprio.
Resumes are very personal things, reflecting what work history and qualifications best represent your skills for this particular opportunity. This means that resumes vary from position to position within a company. It also means that two people with the exact same qualifications may have two very different resumes if their backgrounds and experience don’t exactly match the job requirements.
Even so, many resumes contain common mistakes which will cause them to be rejected quickly by any savvy hiring manager:
Mistake #1: Typos and Grammatical Errors
You wouldn’t send out a letter without spell-checking it first would you? The same principle applies to a resume. Typos and grammatical errors can make a hiring manager question your attention to detail, not only on the job, but also in the hiring process.
Mistake #2: Inappropriate Content
When writing your resume keep in mind that it is for a professional position. This means no hobbies or personal interests should be listed anywhere. When you write about yourself always focus on what makes you a great candidate for this particular job – skills and experience – not on who you are as a person.
Mistake #3: Sending a Resume with Incorrect Contact Information
If a hiring manager can’t contact you about an open position then there is no point of sending out your resume at all. Make sure you check email and contact information thoroughly before sending out a resume.
Mistake #4: Sending the Same Resume to All Companies
When applying for positions based on your experience and qualifications it’s important that you customize your resume for each position explains Peter Decaprio. This includes tailoring keywords, responsibilities, and accomplishments and so on. Sending out a generic resume is among one of the biggest mistakes you can make in the hiring process.
Mistake #5: Using Action Verbs that Don’t Drive Results (and What to Do Instead)
Applicants often attempt to infuse their resumes with power words or phrases like ‘increased,’ ‘improved,’ ‘launched,’ etc., but these terms rarely reflect anything meaningful about what they achieved during their work. Instead of these passive, intangible terms, use words and phrases that demonstrate the tangible results your actions created for your former employers.
Mistake #6: Not Using Action Verbs
If you aren’t using action verbs to drive the point home about what you achieved in previous jobs then it should be no surprise when hiring managers can’t understand why you should be hired for this particular position. The resume is a representation of your skill set. If you don’t accurately represent yourself on paper then why should we believe anything else you say?
Mistake #7: Lists and Bullets that Don’t Mean Anything
Don’t just list out generic responsibilities or responsibilities that don’t contribute to how qualified you are for this job opening. Hiring managers are looking for reasons to knock you out of the running in seconds, no matter how qualified you are. Make sure your bullet points provide concrete evidence that proves why you are a good for this job.
How long should my resume be?
Your resume should be only one page if possible. There is no perfect rule for how many words, lines or paragraphs. You can have on your resume, but hiring managers prefer shorter resumes. The longer your resume gets the more difficult it will become for them to find. What they are looking for quickly says Peter Decaprio.
What font should I use?
When writing your resume you want to pick a legible, easy-to-read font. Good options include Arial, Calibri or Helvetica. Stay away from Comic Sans or other novelty fonts that may come across as unprofessional.
What if my experience isn’t related to what I’m applying for at all?
Everybody’s background and experience is different so it’s understandable how this can happen from time to time. The best thing you can do in this situation is keeping trying. Even if it means reworking your existing resume multiple times until it works! At the end of the day hiring managers are looking for relevance. Before anything else so even if it looks like two totally different positions on paper. You can still make the case for why you are a good fit.
Whatever mistakes you’re making now it’s a good idea to fix them as soon as possible. Not only to avoid being knocked out of the running early on. But also so you can find more success down the road says Peter Decaprio. Whether it’s a typo, an out-of-date piece of information or an unintentional oversight. You can always fix these errors early on. Just take care not to make these same seven mistakes again which are the most common resume mistakes.