We are writing about the most common and often made resume blunders that should be avoided. Â Maybe we’re making an assumption, but it’s not likely that many people are stating that they work well in the nude Â, as one resume blunder article cautions against.
Nor are many job seekers likely to use pale green sheet paper with flowery printed around the border Â. Here are some Â real Â resume blunders that perfectly intelligent people commit, which you Â should Â be aware of, because they can diminish you in the eyes of employers.
1. Poor Formatting
Remember: employers and their HR staffs Â scan Â resumes. They do not painstakingly read each and every word. Being that this is the case, the best thing you can do is make your resume scannable. This means using one of the many free resume templates that come with Word or that can be downloaded on the Internet. These are the formats employers are used to reading, and it’s one easy way you can take friction and hassle out of their reviewing of your resume. Don’t get cute Â with formatting!
2. Trying to sound “Well-Rounded”
Some applicants believe they will look better to employers if they seem well-rounded. Such people typically play up how many committees they’ve served on, how many different and varying job titles they’ve held, different industries they’ve worked in, and the like.
Unfortunately, this does not work as intended. Most employers see such people as not being great at any one thing, and they are thus unsure of how to evaluate them. Most often, such applicants are simply passed over in favor of those with more specific skillsets.
3. Important Skill posted at the bottom/End of the resume
Some otherwise good resumes handicap themselves by listing important skills at the bottom say, computer skills. It should go without saying that the skills most relevant to the job you want should be listed top, front, and center in your resume. Read over your resume a few times and put yourself in the position of a busy, beleaguered HR person. Would your job-specific skills jump out to them? If not, re-arrange your resume so that they will.
4. The Bigger Resume the better mentality
An article listing the 100 funniest resume mistakes says that one woman divided her resume into Â acts Â as though it were a play: i.e., Act 1 of the resume, Act 2 of the resume, etc. We realize this is rather extreme and ridiculous, but it’s telling because of how many people (albeit less dramatically) adopt a more is better Â approach with their resumes. This is absolutely false. In fact, research would probably show that resumes are read less often in proportion to how large they are. Whenever possible, try to include only the essential details necessary to convey your main point.
5. Â Typographic Â Errors
Possibly the easiest resume blunder to make, letting typos slip through is almost one of the most dangerous. A recent survey indicated that 84% of hiring personnel toss a resume in trash upon spotting just Â one or two Â typos! Understand this for what it is: the HR people do not have some type of vendetta against spelling errors in and of themselves. Rather, what they see when they come across as a spelling error is a lack of conscientiousness. They see someone who apparently did not even take their application seriously enough to proofread it before clicking the Send Â button or mailing it in. This isn’t the impression you want to give off, so be sure to eliminate all spelling errors before submitting your resume.
6. Inappropriate E-Mail IDs
It is common today for applicants to leave an e-mail address on their resumes. Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, many applicants make the mistake of leaving personal or inappropriate e-mail addresses rather than professional ones. Put yourself into the HR guy’s shoes. You are looking at two very impressive applications, but one them lists their e-mail as [email protected] Â while the other lists theirs as [email protected] Â Which person are you more likely to hire? If you don’t already have a professional-sounding e-mail address, just visit one of the many free e-mail providers (like gmail, yahoo, and hotmail) and sign up for one.
7. Listing Non-Job-Related information
Too many applicants try to get cute Â and show how eclectic they are by listing non-job related information in their resumes. This can be anything from the vacations they’ve taken, the hobbies they enjoy, or even (in rarer cases) the pets they own! It’s understandable to want to liven up Â your application, but remember this: the HR person who will eventually read it reads thousands of applications each year. They have trained themselves to relentlessly skim through applications searching for only the very relevant details. Mention your persuasive research paper topics only if you are aiming at the writing expert’s position.
8. Self Deprecation
Too many resumes have self-deprecating remarks and phrases. While it’s understandable to not want to be seen as bragging on your application, you still want to look good. It is for this reason that statements like graduated in the top 66% of my class Â and self-employment: what a disaster that was! Â will not make you look good. Rather, they will make you seem like a potential threat to the organization, someone who probably shouldn’t be trusted with much power or autonomy.
Of course, the other side of the resume blunder coin are applicants who excessively brag about themselves or their achievements. Again you do want your resume to make you look like a strong candidate. What you do not want is obnoxious arrogance, as seen in statements like you will never find a better candidate than me Â, or my job performance is unsurpassed Â, or if you don’t hire me, you’ll regret it! Â Such statements make you seem cocky and indicate a potential lack of team spirit (or even narcissism!)
10. Focus on Responsibility instead of Achievement
The best resumes draw attention to what you as an employee have achieved sales growth, cost-cutting, higher customer retention, etc. The worst resumes talk only or mostly about what Â responsibilities Â you have held manager, committee supervisor, etc. Take a good, hard look at your resume and determine if it is primarily responsibilities or achievements based. If it is not already achievements-based, make sure it is before you send it in to employers!