Have you been constantly applying to jobs and sending your resume to employers but not getting any interviews? This could be the outcome of a series of common resume mistakes that result in the hiring manager dismissing your resume, or even worse, not being seen by a human at all. If you are tired of not getting called back after applying to jobs, then this article is for you. Here are the most common resume mistakes to avoid if you want to land an interview.
- Busy Formatting
It is always recommended for your resume to have a simple and clean formatting. This means no images, graphics, or decorative fonts. Whenever you apply for a job, your resume will be sent to an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This software is only able to read text, therefore images and graphics will confuse the computer and it could eliminate your resume before it is delivered to the hiring manager. Even if your resume is able to get past the ATS a simple and clean formatting benefits you. Simple fonts like Helvetica or Avenir and good amounts of white space help the legibility of your resume. Hiring managers and recruiters have the responsibility of reviewing multiple resumes under tight deadlines, so the easier a resume is to read the better.
- No keywords
Keywords related to the position that you are applying for are especially important to get passed the ATS and get your resume seen by the hiring manager. Whenever a job is reviewed in an ATS the user inputs keywords for the computer to look in resumes. The more a resume matches with such keywords the higher it is ranked by the ATS and is recommended to the hiring manager. Luckily for you, these same keywords can be found in the job description. Therefore, if you read the job descriptions and match keywords in your resume before applying to a job, you can rest assured that your resume will be ranked higher than those that were not edited before submission.
- Grammatical errors
Grammatical errors communicate a lack of attention to detail and effort in your resume. Hiring managers might overlook one or two grammatical errors, but multiple errors will have your resume thrown in the trash before being read all the way through. When you are done writing or updating your resume make sure you read it multiple times and fix any grammatical errors you may find. Then, make a habit of reading your resume once every week. You never know what mistakes you might find if you read your resume with a clear mind.
- Too much or not enough information
As previously stated, hiring managers have many resumes to review at a time. Therefore, your resume needs to be short, concise, and straight to the point. Yet, make sure you do not cut out any valuable information or useful keywords just for the sake of brevity. When you write your resume make sure you only include information that will help you get the role and keep out any fluff that does not increase your chances. Read your resume multiple times and after every paragraph ask yourself how that information is helping you land the job; if you do not have an answer delete it. Also, do not worry if your resume is longer than one page, if it is informative and engaging it will do its job.
- Passive writing
Passive writing is the opposite of engaging. The goal of your resume is to catch the attention of the hiring manager and make them want to learn more about you. The easiest way to do this is by including action verbs throughout your resume. Instead of using verbs like led, assisted, or utilized; exchange them for stronger words like directed, advised, and instituted. Action verbs communicate confidence, capability, and linguistic competence.
- Not mentioning accomplishments
More than anything employers want to know what you can do for them. Include your accomplishments in your resume and if possible, show quantifiable proof. Did you help your previous employer save money, make sales, or gain clients? If so, include those numbers to persuade the hiring manager into choosing you for the role.
- One size fits all
You probably have a resume already written down, but if you send the same document to every employer, it will give you very little results. Before sending your resume to an employer make sure to always edit it to fit the job description and include as many keywords as possible. If the job was posted on LinkedIn, you might even want to go to the profile of the hiring manager that posted the job and see if you can find things in common to add to your resume. This will allow you to reach your target audience and make a connection before any interviews take place.
- No specific dates
Vague dates reduce your resume’s credibility. Always include at least the month and year of when you started and ended all your roles. Including just the years will make the hiring manager wonder if there is an employment gap that you do not want to disclose. Remember that your resume should always communicate trust if you want to get a call.
- Badly named files
Resumedraft10.dox, Resumeforxcompany.dox, or myresume.dox are all file names that do not let the hiring manager know whose resume they are going to read. The file name of your resume should always include your first and last name. Also, do not ever leave a hint on how many times you drafted your resume, if it was updated, or if the document is the final version. An effective way to name your resume’s file is in the following way: FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME_RESUME.dox.
- Inconsistencies with LinkedIn
Always match your LinkedIn profile with your resume. Hiring managers tend to look at your LinkedIn before calling you for an interview, and any differences can lower their trust in you. Before applying to any role make sure job titles, descriptions, and dates match to avoid any miscommunication.
Use these tips to optimize your resume and make sure it reaches the hiring managers. Editing your resume accordingly before applying to jobs will allow it to be more effective and bring results. As a final tip, always make sure you have a friend, family member, or an ISGF recruiter read your resume before you press send. It is always good to have a second pair of eyes look at your resume to make sure it is perfect.
If you found this blog post helpful, check out some of our others!