Resume Writing Mistakes that Ruin Your Job Applications

Resume Writing Mistakes that Ruin Your Job Applications

When we need a haircut, we go to a salon. When we need medical advice, we visit our doctors. So why don’t we seek professional help when looking for a job? You might feel embarrassed about paying for something so simple, but in reality, crafting a job-winning resume is an art form. After all, over 60% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds on your application. Even the smallest of things can turn them off and rob you of the chance to get the dream job.

If you’ve been sending out resumes for months, and haven’t heard from any of the employers, you must be doing something wrong. And there are too many tiny details that breed rejection. We’ll share the most common mistakes to let you improve the resume, but still recommend you hire a professional resume writer.

Your Email is [email protected]

It will take the HR manager 2 seconds to throw your application into the “Reject” pile if your email is unprofessional. Even if it has been your trusty account since high school, do not use it in a job application. Create a new account that includes your first name and last name or a variation. Set up the new account to forward all messages to your usual email to ensure you don’t miss an interview invitation. And do not use your corporate email from your current job! Create a generic account with Google, Hotmail, etc.

Your Contacts Are Not Machine-Readable

Most companies rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) for preliminary screening. It means that before hiring managers see your resume it goes through the machine check, and if the ATS can’t read your contacts, it will discard your application even if you are the perfect fit for the job. To get on the ATS’ good side, type your contacts in the body of the resume. Do not paste them as an image or type them in the page header.

You Make the Resume Personal

Your resume is not a CV or an autobiography; it should tell the employer why you are the best candidate for the position. Your hobbies, marital status, and the name of your cat are irrelevant. Leave these details for an interview, or better yet for lunch talks with your colleagues after you have been hired. Moreover, adding personal information to a resume is an invitation for your discriminatory exclusion from the prospects list based on your age, race, or gender.

You Send out Generic Applications

Even if you are looking for a specific position and send out resumes to companies that have similar requirements, review and tweak each application before hitting “Send”. The edits might be subtle, like removing one or two irrelevant job experiences from the list or adding a certificate that fits the company philosophy. However, if you are branching out to related fields, your resume will need more alterations. These take time and effort and require in-depth research of the employer and their open positions. Resume writing services can help you with this step as their writers are fluent in HR-speak and know hiring managers’ expectations.

You Exaggerate Your Accomplishments

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 75% of HR managers have caught a lie in a resume. However desperate you are for a job, misleading the potential employer is not the best long-term strategy. Most hiring managers have an eye for exaggerations even if you make them more subtle than stating you have gained four degrees in 4 years or held 50 jobs in one year.

You Focus on Responsibilities, not Deliverables

Based on the positions you held in the past, HR managers can assume your responsibilities and tasks. There is no need to go into detail on them. If you do, your resume will become too lengthy and generic. Instead, include quantifiable results of your projects to show the benefits you brought to your previous employers. It might be difficult to come up with numbers, especially for the positions you held years ago. Take your time, reach out to colleagues and managers to get the necessary data. However, keep the previous mistake in mind and do not lie in your resume.

You Cram Too Much Text in a One-page Resume

While preliminary resume screening is machine-based, human HR managers make the ultimate decision to invite you for an interview. Therefore, you need to make your application easy on the eyes. Battle your desire to squeeze as much data as you can onto a single page by choosing a smaller font size or reducing the margins. Embrace the white space and leave plenty of room between text blocks. This will make your application look clean and streamlined instead of cramped and sloppy.

You Rely on Basic Spell Check

Best-selling authors do not publish their first drafts. They rely on editors and proofreaders to go through manuscripts multiple times to ensure there are no inconsistencies, plot holes, and errors. You should never send a resume the moment you finish writing it even if you know how to use default spell check features. Every typo is a testament to your sloppiness and the lack of focus. Even using professional editing software, such as Grammarly, is not a 100% guarantee your writing is error-free. That’s why we recommend hiring a professional, if not for resume writing, then at least for editing and proofreading.

You Use Elaborate Resume Templates

Less is more when it comes to formatting your resume. Avoid loud colors, bold fonts and excessive use of italics. You don’t need an over-the-top template, let your concise writing and past accomplishments speak for themselves. Even if you don’t feel confident about your track record, do not mask it under glam and glitter. Unreadable formatting will sooner turn the hiring managers off then entice them. If you don’t know how to format a resume, find the simplest template online, and use it.

You Rely on Resume Mistakes Lists Online

Your desire to work out the best way to write a resume is commendable, but no one can give you a foolproof recipe. Even our list of common mistakes to avoid is not a guarantee and here is why:

  • It is impossible to include all the little details about a resume into a single post, and you don’t have time to read a 400-page long resume-writing encyclopedia.
  • HR community comes up with new unspoken rules every few months, so while most points on our list will stay valid, some may become outdated or obsolete in 6 to 12 months.
  • Reading or listening is not the same as understanding and applying correctly. If you give the same sauce recipe to 10 people, their results will taste different, and the same is true for our advice.
  • You cannot assess your writing and accomplishments objectively. Catching all typos in your writing is a feat and removing redundant experiences is nearly impossible without a second pair of eyes.

So why go through all the trouble when professional help is quick, affordable and easy to secure? If you make a reasonable choice and delegate resume writing to experts, we are here for you.

Resume101.org  is the best resume writing service because our writers have years of HR experience, follow the latest trends, and work on CVs, cover letters, and resumes every day. They can transform a list of your job experiences into a winning resume in a matter of days and land you interviews, callbacks, and job offers. Reach out, order a resume, and recover control over your career, future, and life!

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