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Your resume is one of the main ways hiring managers assess you as a candidate.

Should it matter if you make a mistake on your resume? Absolutely! In fact, the quickest way to get screened out as an applicant is to submit a seriously flawed resume.

Typos and grammatical errors are typically the Number One Mistake found on a resume. They can make you look unprofessional and unqualified. Another critical mistake is to spray-and-pray: submitting a resume that doesn’t match the job description for which you are applying. This mistake can knock you out of the competition by both the hiring managers and the talent management software they tend to use when screening applicants.

Here are the 7 most common resume mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

  • 1. Misspellings and grammatical errors.

  • Catching your own errors is hard. Try printing your resume out, changing the font, or copying it into a blank email. These strategies help you see your words with fresh eyes, which can help with catching spelling and grammar errors. Grammerly.com is a great web-based program to help catch any misspellings or grammatical errors in your resume. Also, always ask a friend or family member to review your document for errors.

     

  • 2. Not using keywords that match the job posting.

  • Your resume should include the same keywords that appear in the job listing. With today’s technology, many companies filter the applications they do receive into two piles – ‘consider’ and ‘don’t consider.’ If your resume doesn’t have the right keywords, it most likely won’t get noticed (whether by a human or by an automated system) because you won’t appear to be a ‘qualified fit’ for the job.

     

  • 3. Outdated resumes will make you look unfavorable.

  • Your resume should be updated and targeted for every job you apply for. Be sure to update your skills section as well as your work history. Check to be sure that skills, especially the computer and technical competencies, listed on your resume are current.

     

  • 4. Too much information.

  • Don’t tell your readers everything about each job. Focus on the highlights (accomplishments) and keep your document length to one or two pages. Use formatting techniques like bullets and short paragraphs to enhance readability, and limit your resume to the last 10-15 years of work experience.

     

  • 5. Writing a resume objective which doesn’t match the job.

  • Many job seekers now leave an objective off their resume. However if you do use one, avoid any objective statement which doesn’t correspond well with the focus of the target job.

     

  • 6. Not quantifying accomplishments.

  • Avoid empty self-congratulatory phrases by quantifying accomplishments or providing other concrete evidence to support your assertions. Numbers are always helpful tool to express your true capabilities. “Generated revenue growth of 10% per year, well above industry trends.” “Increased production output by 30% from streamlining set-up and materials-gathering processes.”

     

  • 7. Being too modest.

  • Share any awards or recognition you have received in a matter-of-fact manner, e.g., “Promoted to director after increasing annual donations by 20%” or “Received Team Player Award at annual company-wide award ceremonies.” While you don’t want to seem boastful, your resume is the appropriate place to share accomplishments.

 
 

Resumes, after all, are your first chance to show a company what a perfect fit you are for a position — but if done incorrectly, they could also be your last.

That’s why it’s absolutely critical to get them right the first time. Otherwise, all the time you spend filling out applications is essentially for naught.

(written by: Whitney)

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