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Top 10 Resume Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The Top 10 resume mistakes are deadly, but easily avoided! In today's highly competitive job market, a candidate must do everything possible to distinguish themselves from the rest of the unemployed pack and that means avoiding common resume mistakes. Your resume is often your initial contact with a potential employer. Just as important as a neatly pressed business suit, a firm handshake and a smile are to a first interview, the resume demands the same attention and can make or break a candidate in an instant. Do not let Top 10 resume mistakes end your chances. There are many people who could sell themselves to a potential employer in person, but never have the opportunity because they could not sell themselves on paper first. Don't let this happen to you! The Top 10 Resume Mistakes are presented below with tips on how to avoid them.


Typos and grammatical errors

This cannot be stressed enough. A typo or grammatical error on a resume is the written equivalent of a piece of spinach in your teeth during an interview-it makes you look bad and no one wants to see it! Spell check is great, but always let a fresh set of eyes scan your resume for errors. Many times the wrong word is typed. Spell check may not catch it, but the Human Resources office at your dream job just may.

Listing skills and not responsibilities

Potential employers want to know what useful skills you bring to a new job. Many of the responsibilities at your former job won't apply here, but great skills always transfer. Do not forget to include some 'soft skills' to go along with your other experience.

Failing to use keywords

Many large corporations rely on text readers to pre-screen potential candidates. Just as you rely on keywords to drive people to your Infobarrel articles, you should use specific keywords from the job description ad or from the list of desired experience/education requirements. For example, do not say "Great computer skills". Spell out what programs and systems in which you are proficient. Try to deliver exactly what they are seeking. This is one of the deadliest top 10 resume mistakes because it can mean instant rejection with no human interaction.

Action verbs

Don't be passive here! Show your potential boss that you are an action candidate. You facilitated, implemented, designed, presented, improved, or developed. Make an impression--not another resume mistake!

Vague or incomplete information

An employer has to wonder how conscientious and detail oriented you really are if you cannot even fill in specific dates, contact information or accurate job titles. If it is worth including then it is worth researching and completing accurately.

Too much information

Equally bad! This is not a time to discuss your personal hobbies, beliefs and interests. Don't cram too much into a small space. The proper use of 'white space' is important in any document to help information flow and provide readability. Another easily overlooked of the top 10 resume mistakes is forgetting that the visual appearance can be just as important as the content.

Too busy

Funny fonts and layouts are great for your child's bake sale, but for your resume stick with the classics. Try to not mix and match too many fonts and sizes. A traditional layout is always appreciated.

A one-resume-fits all approach

If you rely on one resume for every job then you are selling yourself short. Individual resume created for a specific position will allow you to highlight skills that are relevant to that employer. It is easy to spot a job-specific resume and it will command attention beyond the generic templates of your competition.

Quality paper

This is often overlooked, but very important. Do not rely on cheap printer paper for your resume. Go to a stationary store and buy a ream of resume paper with a minimum 25% cotton content. While you are there, buy some nice stationary and envelopes for 'Thank You' follow-up letters, too. Stay within the white and cream family. Hot pink may help the old ladies find your yard sale, but will probably only remind your potential employer to throw your resume in the trash!

Lying on resume

Don't do it. Ever. Period.

These Top 10 Resume Mistakes are all easily avoided. Do your best to try not to let these common resume mistakes happen to you. Remember always that your resume is your first impression so be sure to make it a good one. You can not get a job unless you get your foot in the door. Do not let these top ten resume mistakes prevent you from getting quality face time! Best of luck to you in the job hunt!!



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