While writing résumés professionally for the past three years, I’ve seen numerous job seekers make mistakes when writing their résumés that ultimately hinder their success. Many applicants are unaware of the problems that lie within their own résumés, so I have highlighted the top 5 résumé blunders that I see most frequently.
#1 No accomplishments. Can you can copy and paste information from your résumé into someone else’s with the same job title? If the answer is yes, you are in trouble. This means you are only listing responsibilities and you aren’t individualizing your résumé enough. Your accomplishments are unique to you, and they help build your professional brand. They also allow employers to clearly see what you can potentially achieve for their company.
#2 Not detailed enough. I have seen plenty of résumés that have quick phrases that leave much to be desired. If you increased sales, tell us how and by how much. If you answered the phone, tell us how many calls you took in a day. If you developed a new process, tell us what improved and by how much. These details not only validate what you are claiming, but they become more vivid and intriguing to the reader.
#3 Not focused. In just one glance, it should be quite clear what industry / field you are in and what job titles you are best suited for. Making a laundry list of all your past positions simply doesn’t work. Employers don’t want to hire someone that has many years experience in everything. They want to know that you have the specific skill-set most relevant to the role you’d like to fill. Make sure you know the career path you want before you commence the job searching process and focus your résumé in accordance with your goals.
#4 Selling yourself short. Far too many times, clients have a hard time taking ownership of tasks they have accomplished. Many people are modest (which is fine), but it’s OK to claim what you did and say it on your résumé. As long as the information is true, don’t diminish your own abilities and strengths by omitting key achievements just because you didn’t do it alone or if your boss helped you through it.
#5 Using Templates. The job market is very competitive; there could be thousands of candidates applying for the same position. Imagine that all of them found the same résumé template in MS Word that you did. How bored do you think recruiters are of seeing the same cookie cutter layouts? Make sure you stand out. Create your résumé from scratch; you have a better chance at getting noticed by showing your individuality and creativity.
Remember, the point of a résumé is to intrigue a hiring manager and get invited for an interview. So, if you don’t stand out, your application will go right into the “black hole” with the other thousands of applicants who also made these major mistakes. If you are guilty of any of these, don’t worry. It’s not too late to revise your résumé and start standing out.
By Melanie L. Denny
As the president of Résumé-Evolution, Melanie L. Denny is a certified professional résumé writer, who has partnered with numerous clients from a wide range of industries to create unique, compelling self-marketing documents. Specializing in mid- and entry-level résumés, Melanie has a passion for helping job seekers reach their long- and short-term career goals.
In our ever evolving economic climate, now, perhaps more than ever, achieving professional success is a vital mission that can be challenging for the average individual. This is why Melanie takes pride in making sure she strategically designs each résumé to highlight the accomplishments most relevant to the career goals of the job seeker.
Résumé-Evolution offers completely individualized resumes, cover letters, mini-résumé card designs, thank you letters, reference sheets and more! Visit www.resume-evolution.com or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/resumeevolution