Tina Nicolai from Résumé Writers’ Ink estimates that she has read more than 40,000 résumés. Here are the Top 8 Mistakes she has seen job seekers make:
1. Not paying attention to detail. Like misspelled words and typos. Hiring managers see a ton of resumes. So they’re looking for any reason to toss yours in the trash.
2. Too many cliché phrases and buzzwords Like saying you “think outside the box,” or that you’re a “team player.” One or two of them is okay, just not ten.
3. An extremely long summary, also called your “objective statement.” It’s the paragraph at the top where you talk about your goals. Some people think it’s outdated, and you don’t even need one. So definitely don’t go overboard with it.
4. Starting bullet points with the phrase, “Responsible for [blank].” Like under your current job, you might say you’re, “Responsible for daily blog updates.” There are better ways to say it, so it makes you look lazy and kind of boring.
5. Being too formal. Hiring managers get sick of seeing stuff like, “I utilized my prodigious writing skills and leadership capabilities to bolster client engagement.” It’s better if you just say, “I used my writing and leadership skills to connect with clients.”
6. Relying too much on a resume template. Changing up the font or the layout can help you stand out. Just don’t get TOO creative. It still needs to look professional.
7. Having too much blank space on the page, or not enough. Sometimes a page that’s totally filled with writing is even more annoying. Especially if you have to use a tiny font to fit it on one page. If you do, either make it two pages, or start cutting stuff.
8. Your name goes at the top. Then your phone number and email address should be directly underneath it, without a ton of space in between. Most people still put their mailing address in there, but you might not need to. If you take that out, you can fit your contact info on one line, right under your name.