Your resume might pass through the hands of a dozen trusted reviewers—parents, friends, mentors, etc.—and still come back to you with glaring problems that can immediately turn off a hiring manager. Watch out for these tricky errors and omissions that even you may have never noticed.
1. Industry-Specific Terms & Statements
Your use of jargon and industry-specific claims may be lost on some of the reviewers in your close circle of friends and family. But that’s no reason to let them slide under the radar.
Do the best you can to explain these terms and claims to your reader, and if possible, make sure you have at least one person on your list of reviewers with in-depth knowledge of your field. How impressive is the industry award? Should you emphasize that you’ve attained the rank of “senior associate” in five years, or should you downplay that fact? Only insiders can really talk to you about these things.
2. Potentially Embarrassing Issues
Your friends love you. And sometimes that love shows in funny ways. While a tougher critic might sit you down for a hard discussion about how you frame your questionable career choices, or the health issues that sidelined you for a while, or the bold risk you took that ultimately failed, your friends may hesitate to do this. They can’t help it. They want you to thrive professionally, but they also don’t want you to suffer through any pain or self-doubt as a result of their words and actions.
3. Things They Already Know About
Your resume contains a two-year employment gap that took place when you stepped off the hamster wheel to take care of your father while he struggled with cancer. Your friends know this. They stayed close to you and deeply involved in your daily life during that entire chapter. So they aren’t likely to take a look at your resume and recognize this two-year gap as a glaring red flag.
But employers probably will. So make sure you’re prepared to answer all the tough questions—including the ones your friends might forget to ask. These can include anything from a career transition to a mismatch between your education and work experience.
4. Absent Skill Sets
Your friends can evaluate the skill sets you possess and choose to share, but they may not know enough about your target position to identify the ones that are missing. So they may not ask about these. But again, your potential employers will, so be ready.
Don’t tackle your job search alone. Enlist all the help you can from friends, contacts, and professionals who can help you get where you need to go. And as you gather your supporters, make sure LiveCareer finds a place on your list. Visit the site for resume tools, cover letter templates, and career advice that keep your professional goals on track.