Hiring managers and recruiters receive dozens — sometimes hundreds — of résumés for any given opening. You may be perfect for the job, but if your résumé has just one typo, if it's formatted poorly, or you use the wrong objective, it could easily end up in the "no" pile.
Here are some resume mistakes I have noticed as a recruiter that you want to avoid:
1. Wrong Contact Information
It is very important that you ensure your contact information is up-to date-and accurate on your resume. So many times I run into candidates with old cell numbers or home phones numbers listed that do not work. Recruiters typically call during the day. You need to make sure you have the most accessible number listed, and be prepared to possibly accept a call mid-day if you are actively applying to jobs. I even had a friend have a 6 instead of a 9 in her number--a simple, yet, major mistake.
2. No Dates Listed
Sometimes people shy away from listing dates of past jobs if they feel they lack experience, have gaps in employment, or have been job hopping. Remain truthful. You never know exactly what they are looking for and, even further, you can explain anything that they have questions about in your interview. The moment you omit dates, you are risking not being called at all because your experience cannot be quantified.
3. Sending the same resume to each employer, or (even worst) Not ensuring you switch the company name out if you include it in the objective statement.
No two roles are exactly alike and your resumes shouldn’t be either. You want to do your best to apply to each job and individually tailor your résumé to fit the job description, while using exact keywords and including examples that show exactly how you would be an asset to that company based on their goals. When you don't switch the company details you seem uninterested and unable to pay attention to detail. When you use a generic resume not only will you decrease your chances of passing the ATS, but you will always seem less qualified, at first glance, by the recruiter.
4. Elaborate Formatting
I agree, there is nothing like a beautifully designed resume. But when it comes to telling a story about your qualifications and, ultimately, getting hired less can be more. Depending on your industry, elaborate designs could always be the go-to, but whenever you have to send your resume through an electronic system and ATS you want to always gear towards “text only” format. The use of PDF’s, charts, text boxes, and off formatting could all come over distorted when the recruiter goes to pull your application. Contact information could completely disappear and symbols could become integrated within all of the text. Don't let this happen to you.
5. Typos and grammatical errors
I’ve seen managers automatically dismiss candidates the moment they see a typo or error. The thought process is that a resume is a crafted reflection of you and your work that you have ample amount of time to review and reflect prior to sending out. Submitting a document that has multiple errors calls into question your judgement and the type of work you would produce if you joined the team. Use spell check, and get 2 more opinions. You can never be too sure.
6. Not including Education, License, and Certifications (when listed as a minimum requirements)
Some people begin to omit information to save space on a resume. You have to be careful with that. Some organizations have rules in place that do not allow you to interview or hire anyone that does not meet every single minimum qualification listed in the job description. Have a degree? List it. A specific software skill? List it. A professional license? List it. Pay close attention to every detail in the job description so that you can showcase how you are the perfect fit. Recruiters and hiring managers are not mind readers. You must list exactly what you have accomplished, and the skills you have obtained, so that they know you are qualified.
7. Being Vague
The moment you copy and paste bullet points from a job description without including your specific contribution and results you completely lose the reader and lack true substance. You need to put real, quantitative tasks and accomplishments on your resume. The more specific and results-oriented your resume is, the better. Your resume has to tell the story before you get the opportunity to explain yourself in an interview.
Hopefully these common mistakes give you a starting point for updating your resume and ensuring you are competitive. If you’d like additional insight, I encourage you to set up a free consultation. We can discuss your resume and determine areas of improvement. We even have full resume services and a monthly newsletter with career tips as well. Time to land more interviews and job offers!