The Top 5 Resume Mistakes that you need to Avoid

The top 5 resume mistakes you need to avoid
Learn what the top 5 resume mistakes are that you need to avoid

The resume is your passport to the professional world. To make it to all those corporate destinations, you need to have the right stamps on it, from the font types to the font size, the space between words, and the use of the right verbs. Everything on your resume needs to be strategically placed. More importantly, it needs to be polished like a diamond. Especially if you want it to shine like one. The fact is, it takes 6 seconds (on average) for your resume to impress an employer. That’s how fast your suitability for a position is decided. Consequently, your resume needs to be spotless to give yourself the best possible opportunity of getting an interview. To help you get started, here are the top 5 resume mistakes that you need to avoid.

1. Having a Photo on your Resume

Your face plastered on your resume increases the chance of rejection by up to 88%. This is according to a report by For instance, a photo that looks great to you can look tacky and unprofessional to the employer. Additionally, it can lead to discrimination and receive attention for all the wrong reasons. Your resume should only include information relating to skills, experience, achievements, education, etc. This is what you want the employer to be engaged in and the reason for earning an interview. They will find you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media platform to see what you look like if they want to. They will do enough behind the scenes research on you if they are interested.

2. Typos and Grammatical Errors

This is how the employer reads your resume when you spell your most recent role as “Teaam Leader.” This typo can easily be overlooked if you are assessing the performance of a 10-year old writing an essay. It’s a different story for someone with their professional career on the line. This basic mistake could be easily avoided with a little proofreading and editing as it is almost unforgivable!

Your resume isn’t just about your skills and experience. It’s an introduction to how well you write. For instance, the employer is looking to see if you can string a sentence together and pay attention to detail. Small mistakes on your resume give the employer a reason not to shortlist you. Invest additional time to read through your resume to avoid these small errors with big consequences.

3. Jack of all Trades

You might think this establishes you as a well-rounded individual that a company can hire to lead teams and drill nails into the wall. Unfortunately, this isn’t what the company is looking for. They have a specific role with a specific set of responsibilities that requires a specific skillset. Having a one-size-fits-all approach ensures your resume is generic and will only hurt your chances of being hired. Consequently, your resume needs to be tailored to every job you apply for.

4. Focusing on Responsibilities and Not Accomplishments

Your potential employer isn’t just interested in what you did at your previous job. They are also interested in what you accomplished. When you focus only on the tasks and responsibilities, you leave out the best bits. Accomplishments carry the most weight because they demonstrate the value you generated for your current and previous organizations. Additionally, it highlights to your current employer that you get results. Suppose you struggle to think of what accomplishments you have achieved in your jobs. Here are some questions to help you think about them:

  • How did the tasks I carry out day to day benefit the company?
  • What processes did I improve?
  • How many new customers did I bring in?
  • How did I cut costs and make savings?
  • What promotion did I receive?

5. Keeping it too Short, or Too Long

Just like most things in life, it’s all about balance. For instance, your resume should include crisp nuggets of information and enough detail to help the employer get a good idea about your accomplishments and experiences. If it’s important and can help them in their decision-making process, then it should be included. However, if your writing falls short of the standard 3-bullet point rule (that each job experience should have 3- bullets to outline responsibilities and achievements), it is better to focus on targeted two-bullet points. This stops you from adding redundant or irrelevant information, as every word in your resume should be there for a reason. Especially as the last thing an employer wants to do is read a 20-page resume.

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