9 Common Resume Mistakes To Avoid

When you are on the hunt for a new job, it is easy to get caught up in the rush of applying for open positions and neglect to send out a high-quality resume. However, the resume is arguably the single most important document of your hunt for a satisfying career. Without a quality resume, you may never get the chance to sell yourself in an interview with your potential employer.

Before you ever send out your resume, it is crucial that you take the time to comb through your information and weed out any of the most common mistakes. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of the top costly mistakes you might have already made on your resume.

1. Including Irrelevant Information

Each and every one of us has a varied and expansive set of skills and experiences that we could honestly include on our resume. However, a great deal of those experiences and skills are simply not relevant to our interest in our career. Including this information is getting in the way of your potential employer seeing the value that you could bring to their company.

When you fail to remove (or significantly de-emphasize) experiences that are not relevant to the job, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Resumes should be short, and the real estate on your resume is valuable. Every word you choose to type on this document should make a move to help your potential employer understand the value that you bring.

2. Your Resume is Littered With Basic Mistakes

Everyone knows that the most common mistake is generally spelling and grammatical mistakes. To identify if this is the case with your resume, have others take a look at it and offer their criticisms. You may feel like you’ve written a perfectly error-free resume, but the reality is, grammar Nazi’s are oftentimes able to find all sorts of mistakes that you simply can’t.

If you find this happening with your resume, seek professional assistance from resume writing services. They can make your life way easier if you simply don’t have the writing prowess to market yourself appropriately through your resume. Resume writers are generally HR specialists or recruiters, so they’ll be far more capable than the average individual at writing a compelling resume. After all, they’ve been on the other side of things, and know exactly what other job seekers want.

Of course, using a resume service can be a costly investment. There are tons of services out there like ResumeGo, TopResume, TheMuse, and more, so it’s really important to do your research to find the right one for you.

3. Your Resume is Generic

This is by far the most common mistake that people make on their resume. Generic resumes are easy to spot for people who are looking to hire a new employee. Unfortunately, it is a mistake that is going to make you look a little bit lazy and uninterested in the job for which you are applying. Neither of those adjectives are very flattering to a potential employer.

Be sure that you take the time to make it clear though the information in your resume why you are a good fit for both this company and the position. While this might take some time, it is worth it to make yourself look more prepared and more interested in the job.

4. Your Career History is too Vague

Potential employers place a lot of emphasis on the career history that you outline in your resume. One big mistake that you can make is not being specific on your employment history section. Many potential employers assume that non-specific dates or descriptions indicate trouble in your past employment.

5. Leaving Out Explanations

Whether it is a gap in your employment history or a sudden career change, failing to explain major inconsistencies in your resume is a huge mistake. By explaining these lapses in your resume, you make yourself look more qualified. One of your goals when writing your resume should be to leave your potential employer with no questions when they are reviewing your past work history.

6. Leading with Your Education

Once you are out of college and have begun your career, your education becomes significantly less important than your job history. Your degree is your foundation, but potential employers are much more interested in what you have been able to accomplish since you graduated from the university. More experienced applicants should place very little (if any) emphasis on their education.

7. Your Resume Is Not Visually Appealing

There are certain expectations that employers have when looking at a pile of resumes. One of those expectations is that your resume has some visual appeal. This goes beyond a simple formatting choice and includes your ability to highlight important portions of your resume using spacing, bullet points, and other formatting tools. A resume should be easy to read and easy to decipher without losing the crisp, clean appearance that most resumes have.

8. Your Resume is too Long

Sending out a resume that is too bulky is a huge mistake. Employers want to evaluate your potential quickly, and they value the ability to make a quick decision about whether or not to interview you. If you want them to make the choice to call you in, then save your life story for another time. Choose to include only the relevant information that is most likely to grab the attention of your potential employer.

9. Including Basic Skills

Some skills are no longer considered a skill. Including Microsoft word experience on your resume is like including riding a bicycle to your skills. Everyone has done that. Take the time to really consider the skills that are unique to you. What skills do you have that make you qualified to perform the job you are applying to.

Final Thoughts

Do not make the mistake of creating a resume with common mistakes on it. Too often employers have to turn down applicants because they do not understand how valuable their resume truly is. Give your resume the time it deserves and remove any of these common resume mistakes you find.