Hiring managers read hundreds of resumes per day. So if you want to secure an interview, you have make sure your resume makes it to the top of the stack. Avoiding these common
mistakes puts your resume ahead of the pack.
Clichéd Language on Resume
Career adviser Liz Ryan appeared on CBS’s “The Early Show” and identified some popular catchphrases like “results oriented professional” that should never land on a resume. “You’re talking about yourself, so why go into this weird robotic language that doesn’t describe much about yourself?” Ryan asked. Instead, she advised job seekers to supply concrete examples of their work experiences.
Other examples of abused phrases include “results-oriented,” “proven track record of success” and “work well under pressure.” Such descriptions don’t help recruiters form a profile of the applicant in their head or motivate them to meet the person. Job seekers should prove their worth by emphasizing their work experience rather than stressing positive attributes.
Poor Grammar on Resume
Spell-check is a great tool but it doesn’t catch everything, especially when it comes to resumes which tend to have incomplete sentences and names of companies. Here are some common grammar issues that are easy to overlook and can cost you the job.
- Use present tense when writing your work experience for current positions. For example, “Successfully answer and direct an average of 200 customer phone inquiries to the appropriate staff member or department.” Use past tense for all previous experience. For example, “Drove business development by cultivating strong customer relationships.”
- Capitalize previous job titles in the experience section only. If you mention your job title in your Resume Summary section, do not capitalize it.
- Avoid using “I” or “my” anywhere in your resume since the first person is already implied. Also avoid “we” and “our” when describing results accomplished by a team. Your resume should highlight your individual achievements, not downplay them.
- Write out numbers between one and nine. For example, “Managed a team of eight employees.” Use numerals for numbers 10 and above. For example, “Oversaw operations for 11 regional offices.” Always use numerals for percentages or statistics. For example, “Increased sales by 8% in under one year.”
- Careful when using apostrophes. For example, know the difference between “its” and “it’s.” Use the correct “there,” “their” or “they’re.”
Inappropriate Information on Resume
Hiring managers aren’t interested in personal statistics like your age, weight, gender, ethnicity, or religious faith. They also aren’t interested in your marital status, the number of children you have, or any of your personal financial information. Including details like these can suggest that you aren’t familiar with standard resume protocols, and these statements can also place employers in a precarious legal position. If they choose to pursue your candidacy, or if they decide to interview but ultimately reject you, they may be exposed to accusations of discrimination or favoritism. So skip the personal details and don’t attach photos of yourself to your resume.
LiveCareer’s Resume Builder
Now that you know how to avoid the most common resume mistakes, why not get started on your resume today? Resume Builder is ready when you are.