Top 5 Resume Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Having a strong resume is a crucial first step toward success. Whether you are getting ready to apply to your dream job or simply wanting to update your old resume, that task should not be taken lightly – after all, it might determine the rest of your career.
When drafting a stellar resume, the objective is twofold: get your contributions noticed within seven seconds – the average time a recruiter spends on scanning a profile – and get keywords picked up by an applicant tracking system (ATS). Your goal is to optimize for that time and content. The quicker it takes for a recruiter to find what they’re looking for, the easier it is for you to stand out and get an interview. As such, a lot of attention must be paid to details to avoid common mistakes. With that in mind, we compiled a list of five resume mistakes and how to fix them to ensure you secure that dream job.
1. Having a universal resume
One of the biggest and most common mistakes is to have a set in stone resume. Instead, it is crucial to tailor your resume to each position you are applying to. Highlighting your skills as a barista might be important if you are applying to be a server at a restaurant, but it won’t matter so much if you apply for a job as a writer. Adjusting your resume to highlight skills that the company is looking for is a key step toward making it through that initial profile-scan.
2. Making your resume too long
Everyone wants to include as much as possible on their resume to show off their years of experience, but in many cases, that will do more harm than good. Making your resume too long takes the focus away from the experiences that matter the most, and might discourage your potential employer from looking through your resume at all. Instead, only including experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for is the way to go.
3. Using unprofessional fonts and format
Being creative with your resume can be an asset, but it is important to know where to draw the line. Your resume should be easy to follow, clean, and professional. Whether you choose a standardized word template or a creative layout from Canva, staying on the safe side is always best when it comes to your resume. Unless your potential employer specifically asks for creativity and originality, opting for a clean font and format is strongly recommended.
4. Spelling mistakes & incorrect grammar
Spelling mistakes are too easy to make, and that is precisely why reading over your work multiple times is crucial. Having spelling mistakes and using incorrect grammar in your resume can be easily avoided by having a friend, family member, or peer read over your work before submitting it to your potential future employer. Spelling mistakes, as small as they can be, could be a deal-breaker and can easily be avoided by taking a couple of extra minutes to look over your resume.
5. Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments
A mistake that is harder to distinguish but easy to make is in how you highlight your experiences and skills. Many people simply describe the tasks they were assigned to complete. Instead, you should draw attention to what the outcome was of you completing that task. For example, if you were in charge of running a social media campaign at your previous job, list the results that came out of that campaign.