Whether you are looking to get started on your first job search out of college or looking to change careers and reopen your search, having an up-to-date resume is imperative. Recently, our friends at Nexxt revealed six of the most commonly overlooked mistakes made by job-seekers on their resumes. With the help of our friends at Nexxt, we breakdown the key examples here:
Too Many Soft Skills
With an average of 30 seconds or less to capture a hiring manager’s attention, it’s best not to waste time with self-proclamations of being a team player, good communicator, or a sound multi-tasker, etc. There is no easy way to prove these characteristics through words on a resume, so it is best to leave the comments to be shared by your professional references or to be portrayed naturally during your interview. Place an emphasis on your applicable experience and relevant ‘hard skills.’
Overlooking Your Accomplishments
If you are dead set on an industry and have proven experience to compliment your acquired skill-set, you should jump straight into your career accomplishments as the highlight of your resume and elevator pitch. Don’t waste precious space uncovering the basic details of your previous job, but rather provide perspective as to why you succeeded. Present your accomplishments effectively to hiring managers through the CAR approach (Challenge-Actions-Results):
- Challenge – What was the existing problem, need, or situation?
- Actions – What did you do about the challenge?
- Results – What outcomes did you produce? Quantify it!
*Pro-Tip: Utilize strong action verbs to begin your statements
Grammar & Spelling
Grammatical and spelling mistakes are the first in the book and easiest to occur, but they continue to surface. If you are not confident in your grammatical capabilities, run your text through a resource like Grammarly. There is no worse feeling as a job-seeker than losing out on a job opportunity due to one typo or one forgotten punctuation.
Failing to Adjust Your Resume
Whether you are locked in on pursuing a specific industry or job title or are broadening your horizon, each job is unique and requires your resume to be unique as well. If you are not tailoring your resume to each job posting you apply to, you are spoiling your chances before you even received a phone call. For example, pursuing an Inside Sales position with a telecommunications firm will vastly differ in qualifications or required skills from that of a Content Writer opportunity for the same firm. Likewise, submitting the same resume for sales positions with two different companies implies you failed to research the company, and that will not go unnoticed.
Nearly 75% say they believe finding a job has become more challenging in 2020. (Jobvite)
Not Providing Timelines
It may seem like a solid strategy to keeping your resume with a ‘neat and clean’ appearance, but checking for dates is a vital part of a hiring manager’s review. Without a clear timeline, you are implying you have an employment gap or a history of short stints with employers you want to keep secret. If you are fortunate enough to receive the benefit of the doubt, you can undoubtedly expect clarification to be desired on your first phone call with the hiring manager.
Using an Objective Statement
Arguably the most outdated feature on 2019 resumes, this section often takes up valuable space atop job-seekers’ resumes. Focused on general aspirations and ‘fluff’ statements, most hiring managers will skip over the paragraph or, worse, mark it as an immediate red flag. Courtesy of your submitted job application, employers are already aware you are “motivated” and “looking for your next opportunity.” Instead, utilize this space to provide a career summary, or dive straight into your work experience with concise summaries under each position.