Have you ever wondered how much time a typical recruiter spends on 1 resume?
Hint: It’s even less than you think!
With 100s if not 1000s of applicants applying for one position, the average recruiter spends no more than 6-8 seconds skimming through one resume! And with so little time at hand, do you think he’ll give your resume a second thought if he finds any mistakes in it?
Nope, he’ll simply toss it to the list of rejected resumes.
That’s why you need to ensure that your resume catches the attention of the recruiter in those few seconds and not contain any silly mistakes that might put your job application in jeopardy.
Check out these 9 common resume mistakes that people make and how to avoid them.
1) Grammatical Mistakes
You must have heard ‘Don’t make any grammatical mistakes in your resume’? a lot of times.
It stands without reason, there is no excuse for sloppiness, misuse of words, wrong spelling or punctuation overuse on your resume.
Grammatical mistakes such as the ones mentioned above make your resume look shabby and definitely do not create a good impression on the recruiter.
Proofread your resume at least twice. Once done, you can ask your trusted friends and family to do the same. You’d be surprised how many mistakes you tend to overlook while proofreading your own resume.
2) Incorrect Contact information
After sending your resume to a couple of headhunters, you wait expectantly to be called for a job interview. It’s been a few weeks now and you haven’t received a response from any company, let alone a positive one. You then checked your resume and realized you have entered the wrong email address.
So even though you have a good profile, you lost out on a couple of job interviews due to one silly mistake.
Recheck your resume for any errors in contact details before sending it out to the employer. Also, mention your phone number along with country code and an appropriate email address in the Contact Details section.
3) Made Up Information
Do you really speak 5 languages? Did you really intern at that company for 4 months? Do you really volunteer at an NGO 5 days-a-week?
Many people lie under the assumption that they can get away with it. It’s not advisable because, in today’s world of new technologies and amounts of social media channels, recruiters can easily verify anything with a few clicks and phone calls.
Don’t lie on your resume. However, you can omit any information that might reduce your chances in getting called for an interview. But if asked about it during the interview, be honest and try to mention any positive outcome that might have resulted from the same. (For e.g. In case of gaps between 2 jobs, don’t forget to mention any volunteer work, skills that you have picked up during the gap period)
4) No Bullet Points
Studies suggest, recruiters tend to avoid skimming through huge chunks of data and would simply ignore large paragraphs no matter how well written they are.
So if your resume is not optimized for bullet points, it won’t get noticed even if you’re a perfect fit for the job.
Add bullet points to your resume. For each company, there should be no more than 3-5 bullet points. Also, quantify your bullet points. It helps the reader understand the kind of impact you had in your previous company.
A better way to write ‘making a marketing plan for a new product and successfully launching it in the market’ is ‘Developed strategic marketing plan to introduce product into international and domestic markets, launch exceeded forecasts by 17%.’
This shifts the focus on accomplishments from mere responsibilities in the eyes of the recruiter.
5) Not Including Action Words
What are Action Words?
Action Words are keywords that the recruiter is looking for in your resume, which is specific to the job opening. Additionally, a lot of companies use automated scanning software known as Applicant tracking systems (ATS) which specifically looks for Action words.
The keyword searches by recruiters include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening.
So if your resume doesn’t contain the relevant action words, the recruiter will assume you’re not fit for the job because you probably don’t possess the skills he’s looking for.
Implement keywords which are specific to your job role.
For example, if you are applying for a position in the finance department starting your bullets points with words like ‘Accounted, Analyzed, Reduced, Maximized, Audited’ instead of the boring ‘Responsible for..’ is a good option.
Let’s take another example
Without Action word: Attended group meetings and recorded minutes.
With Action words: Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
You can see the difference yourself.
6) Not Highlighting Achievements
People avoid adding achievements (Workplace or otherwise) in their resume assuming it’ll make them come across as pretentious. On the contrary, not having any achievements listed on your resume will put you at a disadvantage as there’ll be nothing to differentiate you from the crowd.
Highlight achievements such as academic honors, club positions, etc which might be relevant to your future employer, make them understand the significance of it as well.
If you got a scholarship, be sure to mention that as well.
7) Adding Irrelevant Skills In The Resume
Avoid adding all possible skills you possess, in your resume.
Companies are looking for people with specific skills set when filling up their job opening. So mentioning any other skills besides the relevant ones will be considered irrelevant.
Go through the job description carefully and list down the skills required by the company. Mention them in your resume if you have any.
Also, if you have worked on any tool at your previous workplace that they have included in their job description, include it in your resume.
8) Using Company Specific Jargons
Companies often have their own internal names for things like customized software, technologies, and processes that are only known within that organization and not by those who work outside of it.
Many people tend to think that using such jargons will make them look smarter on their resume and increase their chances of getting shortlisted.
On the contrary, if the recruiter doesn’t understand the underlying context, he’s probably going to reject you thinking it’s all jibberish.
Need to mention technologies/processes designed by your previous company?
Explain how it worked and what you did in as simple and concise way possible. Even though you might add an extra bullet point or two, it’ll help the recruiter understand your contribution to the project.
9) Giving Everyone the Same Resume
A survey done by CareerBuilder found that 36% of employers identified resumes that are too generic as one of the mistakes that may lead them to automatically dismiss a candidate.
No two jobs are alike, hence your resumes shouldn’t be either.
Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.
Create a resume that’s tailored specifically for the company you’re applying to.
Look for any keywords mentioned in their job description and implement the same in your resume. This shows that you’ve gone through their job description carefully and will make you come across as a good fit for the job.
With so much competition everywhere, you can’t afford to make a single mistake in any stage of your job application process. Having an exceptionally good resume devoid of any mistakes will take you one step closer to your dream job.
Follow the above mentioned tips and you’re already ahead of most people. And if you’re are looking for more tips on how to create a resume that stands out, you can check out 23 RESUME WRITING TIPS TO CREATE THE PERFECT RESUME IN 2017.
Now go get that job you were eyeing!
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control.
His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online start up for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients.
He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company.