Resumes aren’t rocket science. But to make it in today’s tough job market, there are a handful of resume mistakes you need to avoid, even if it means re-doing your resume from scratch.
A tight job market is no place to start experimenting with a resume. Whether you like it or not, employers will judge your application based on the quality of your resume. In fact, extremely qualified applicants are passed over simply because their resumes didn’t make the grade.
According to ACS Data Search, 40% of resumes have errors or omissions. So jobseekers who invest the effort to make their resumes as thorough and accurate as possible have a significant edge in the marketplace.
Here are a few other resume mistakes you’ll want to avoid in order to achieve a competitive edge in today’s job markets.
- No Focus. Employers and decision-makers look for resumes that exhibit focus and intentionality. Since many employers feed electronic resume submissions into searchable databases, resumes that are highly focused on the posted job requirements are more likely to appear on employers’ radar.
- Responsibilities vs. Results. Tried and true verbiage describing areas of responsibility is not as effective as it used to be. Rather than describing your previous work responsibilities, concentrate on describing the results you have achieved for various employers using hard numbers and percentages.
- Poor Structure. The best resumes adhere to accepted resume structures leveraging a chronological, functional or combined (hybrid) approach. Since each format has a specific function, conduct research to determine which one is appropriate for your job search circumstances.
- Typos & Grammatical Errors. Typos, misspellings and grammatical errors are the deadliest mistakes you can make in a resume. Fortunately, they are also the easiest mistakes to avoid. Carefully proofread each resume before you submit it to an employer.
- Including a Job Objective. In the past, most resumes began with a Job Objective section. But when job markets experience contraction, Job Objective sections became less important to employers because they draw attention to your needs rather than the employer’s needs. For now, replace the Job Objective with a Summary of Qualifications section at the top of your resume.
- Overreliance on Education. Educational achievements are important, but not as important as the real world results you have achieved for former employers. In practice, successful resume writers often place the educational achievements and degrees earned at the end of the resume.
- Inconsistencies. Gross inconsistencies are the kiss of death for any resume. Everything that is contained in your resume needs to exhibit granular consistencies with the information contained in your cover letter and with your profile on LinkedIn and other social media sites.