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5 Common Mistakes I See People Make on Resumes

Updated on September 4, 2011
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There are things that you shouldn't do on your resume. In this article I will list five (5) common things you should avoid on a resume to maximize your chances of being interviewed.

Mistake #1: Include Irrelevant Experience

Hiring managers have enough to read. Including experience that isnt relevant or applicable to the job you are applying for need not take space on your resume. The hiring manager will appreciate it. Remember, they have enough to read through, and showing them only relevant experience can help them quickly see why they should call you for an interview. Besides, including irrelevant information could turn off a hiring manager; so why take the chance?

Mistake #2: Include Skills You Can't Prove

When I review resumes, I see people include acronyms and words relevant to the field. Some people put so many of them to the point they look like they know everything. Hiring managers know some do this in order to make it through key word checkers, and when they see this they know it.

If you find yourself having the urge to do this, make sure you really know what you are adding; otherwise, if you are asked about it and you don't know, you will just embarrass yourself.

Mistake #3: More than Two Pages

Some people think the longer their resume the better they might look to a potential employer. Unfortunately when your resume is competing with several others, it needs to be clear, concise, and to the point. The hiring manager who is trying to figure out who to bring in for an interview may not have the time and patience to go through such a long write up.

The best bet is to modify you resume so that only relevant experience are listed. It will make your resume shorter, thus helping make sure reviewers can get to the resume meat that counts.

Mistake #4: Hard to Read

Resumes that don't have a clean and easy to follow format will turn off a hiring manager. It tells the hiring manager that the resume owner didn't take the time to make their resume presentable. Since hiring managers have to read hundreds of resumes, you'll want to make them easy to understand. A clean format can help do this. So, find a good easy to read resume format and use it.

See "How to Make Your Resume Stand Out from the Rest." It shows an example of a resume format that is easy on the eyes.

Mistake #5: Spelling & Grammatical Errors

A resume with spelling or grammatical errors is telling its readers that the resume owner isn't careful or simply weak in their written communication skills. This is what the reviewer will infer. Given a choice between resumes with equivalent qualifications, a reviewer will most likely choose one that doesn't have errors. Why take the chance. Reread your resume, and check for errors.

Conclusion

Having been a hiring manager, and having seen many resumes, I personally have seen these 5 common resume mistakes. If you do any of these, you are lowering your chances of getting called in for an interview. The five common mistakes people make are:

  • Include irrelevant experience
  • Include skills you can't prove
  • Is more than two pages
  • Poor format and hard to read
  • Spelling and grammatical errors

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