I think I’m beginning to sound borderline preachy with my resume and cover letter advice. But I also feel I have a duty to share with job seekers the blunders and mistakes they make that prevent them from getting the interview and ultimately the offer. After ten years of working as a human resources manager and recruiter I’ve seen my fair share of job seeker mistakes. So here’s my list of the five biggest mistakes job seekers make on their resumes.
MISTAKE #1: Outdated formatting
The first impression your resume gives is critical. How do you want the hiring manager to perceive you? Professional and accomplished? Or sloppy and disorganized? Old and outdated formats only reflect poorly on you as a viable candidate for the position.
MISTAKE #2: Using an objective
If your resume has an objective, please remove it. That is an outdated practice that is no longer relevant in today’s job market. Objectives will only land you in the “bland, just like everyone else” pile—not the “oh yeah, don’t let me forget to call them today” pile.
MISTAKE #3: Forgetting important keywords
Don’t forget to use industry specific keywords. Also, make sure you know where to place them. The top section of the resume is the best place because that’s where the hiring manager’s eyes will be drawn. Short keywords are a great way to tell the employer about your expertise.
MISTAKE #4: Length and text density
Too long or too short and you’ve lost your hiring manager. Keep paragraphs to 3-5 sentences—and the same goes for the number of bullets you use in your resume. Why? Any longer and you lose the audience in information overload—any shorter and you appear under qualified.
MISTAKE #5: Listing responsibilities instead of accomplishments
The hiring manager doesn’t want your resume to be an exact replica of the job ad. He already knows what he needs. What he needs to know is how you’re going to meet their needs. Utilize statements that demonstrate your expertise and accomplishments in a given area. Certainly there was a challenge you faced while working for your current or previous employers. How did you address these challenges and what were the results? The answers to these questions make for GREAT bullet points on a resume.
Are you making these five mistakes on your resume? Compare your resume to those designed by certified advanced resume writers at http://www.greatresumesfast.com.
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class, resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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