Writing resumes professionally now for four months has been an eye-opening experience. I have studied articles, books, attended numerous webinars, and have successfully completed The Art of 5-Star Resume Writing curriculum in order to provide the best service possible to my clients. I have contracted with a large resume writing company to help hone my skills. My clients have been getting interviews and landing jobs. I am pleased with KC’s Job Search Coaching accomplishments.
Earlier, I mentioned that writing resumes has been an eye-opening experience. I say that because I have noticed unexpected commonality in mistakes people make on their resumes. Before I started writing resumes professionally, I never would have thought that someone would submit a resume for a job with errors, but I also know that people are human, and no one is exempt from making mistakes. I want to share in this blog the top ten mistakes I find when reviewing resumes, and I want to educate you on how to avoid making the same mistakes.
1. Improper Formatting
Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter through applicants automatically. If your resume is not formatted properly, it may get thrown out immediately and never reach human hands. Be careful to ensure that your resume is ATS optimized.
2. Misspelled Words
It is important to check your spelling when writing a resume. Use spell check in Microsoft Word. Read your document aloud or have someone else to proofread it for you. Personally, I like to print and proofread from a hard copy. This may seem strange considering we now live in a paperless society, but this is the most effective way for me to spot errors.
3. Grammatical Errors
Be careful of grammatical errors. Don’t use personal pronouns like “I”. Your name is already on the resume, so the person reviewing it knows it pertains to you. Your resume should be written in first person implied.
4. Inconsistent Punctuation
Be consistent in your punctuation. Decide if you are going to place periods after your bulleted items or not. Whatever you do to one make sure you do the same for all.
5. Lack of Accomplishments
Overall, I have noticed most are good at listing day-to-day job responsibilities, but are not good at documenting accomplishments. Your resume is not the time to be modest. Remember you are in competition with others applying for the same job, and it is imperative that you are able to show why you are the best person for the job.
6. Lack of Keywords
Study the job posting for the position you are applying for. Take note of what the duties and qualifications are. Make sure you include experiences on your resume that are relevant to the job you are applying for and include the keywords you took note of when studying the job posting.
7. Weak Verbs
Weak verbs I see on just about every resume I review are utilized, assisted, supported, responsible for, and organized. There are many others, but these have definitely been the most common. Replace weak verbs with words like exercised, facilitated, promoted, implemented, and formulated. Make good use of your thesaurus.
8. Using an Objective when a Professional Summary is Better
Some objectives can be too vague. Professional summaries give recruiters and hiring managers a better snap shot of who you are and what you desire to accomplish, and if written well enough, a professional summary is usually just enough to pique the interest of the person reading it to want to know more. Depending on your level of experience take careful consideration as to whether an objective or summary are more suitable for your situation.
9. Inadequate Qualifications and Experience
The unemployment rate is high, so the job market is tough. There are many people competing for the same job. Make sure you are applying for jobs you are qualified for and if you are seeking to change careers be sure your skills and responsibilities are transferrable.
10. Not Age Proofed
Dates on your resume are a key indication of your age. Where possible, your job history should go back 10 to 15 years. Eliminate the date you graduated college if it was more than 15 years ago when you obtained it.
I hope you find this helpful. If you need more assistance after reading this, I offer free resume reviews, and I welcome the opportunity to review your resume and offer you an analysis of my findings. Click this link FREE RESUME REVIEW to upload your current resume, and I will provide you valuable feedback within 48 hours of receipt of your document.