You could be the best-fit candidate for the job. However, if your resume isn’t solid, then getting a call for an interview is a long shot. The good news? There are a few common resume mistakes job seekers make and some simple ways to avoid them.
Here’s a look at three common resume mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not editing your resume for the job your applying for.
When it comes to your resume, cookie-cutter doesn’t cut it. If you don't edit your resume for the job you're applying to, hiring managers will notice. They want to know why you stand apart from other candidates and what specific skills and abilities will help you perform well and meet expectations. These are going to be unique to the job.
If you send your generic resume without these details, then it’s not going to make a favorable impression. Instead, those candidates with customized resumes for that job will get the call for the interview.
What to do: Avoiding this mistake is simple. Simply read through the job description thoroughly and make sure to list your skills that match the required skills for this particular job.
Offer specific examples as to why you’re a good fit and can hit the ground running in your resume and on the cover letter. Make sure you’re also using keywords from the job listing to best tailor your resume for both Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and hiring managers.
Mistake #2: Oversharing.
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to a job search. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should overshare. Hiring managers don’t need to know about the job you had in high school at the mall. Nor do they need to know about your personal interests and hobbies. Skip these details on your resume. If you do include them, you’ll not only come off as unprofessional, but take up valuable space with irrelevant information.
What to do: In the era of social media and oversharing, the lines can get blurred between what’s personal and what’s professional. Keep in mind, though, that hiring managers don’t want to know about your personal life and hobbies. They simply want to know what you can do for them if they hire you.
The only time there’s an exception is if a hobby or personal accomplishment is relevant to the job or company. For instance, if you’re applying for a job at fitness equipment manufacturer and you’re an avid athlete and use their brand, then this information might be useful to touch on in your resume and your cover letter.
In any other case, though, leave out personal information and stick to focusing on your professionals abilities and accolades. This means avoiding religion, politics, financial status, side hustles or gig jobs you have (unless relevant to the job or employer), or if you’re married or have kids. None of this is pertinent to the employer or the job.
Mistake #3: Poorly formatted resume.
Writing a resume can be tricky when you have limited space and a lot of information to include. Yet, for every job opening, hiring managers receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes. There isn’t enough time in their day to read them all word for word. It’s why a concise resume with proper, clear formatting is key. If yours isn’t easy to scan through because it’s too long or overly verbose, it might not get read at all.
What to do: Once you’ve written your resume, read through it and try to edit out any words or paragraphs that are too lengthy. Be as concise as possible with your language.
Also make sure your resume is formatted properly. This includes with boldface fonts for your job titles or employer names, along with bullet points. Format it so the font size is at least 10 or ideally 12 points and there are wide margins. This will make it easier for the hiring manager to read through quickly.
Another key step? At the top of your resume, include a professional summary or summary of qualifications. This should be 3-5 skills or accomplishments that are most important for a particular position. The hiring manager will review these first and if you make your case well, you should get a call for interview. It can change each time you apply for a job, so you’re tailoring the details to a particular employer’s needs.
Your resume is your ticket into the job interview process and a key part of getting hired. If any of these mistakes sound familiar on your resume, fix them now to can increase your odds of getting an interview – and hopefully the job.
Need more help writing your resume?
ResumeSpice offers a team of professional resume writers who know what employers want to see on a resume. We can help polish yours, or write it from scratch. Whatever kind of help you need, you’ll get a resume that’s more compelling and gives you a leading edge over other candidates. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.