10 Most Common Resume Goofs

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Its very easy to make one of the most common resume mistakes. They’re the kind of errors that you never notice till its too late. When was the last time you checked your resume for the 10 most common resume goofs?Ten Most Common Resume Goofs.

1. Email Errors

One of the most common goofs we see is an incorrect email address. Since most job search efforts are centered around email communications, having an email address that is wrong or difficult to interpret can be a pothole in the road to success. Double-check your email address to make sure it is correct. Don’t use your work email address on your resume and try to avoid having an email that has the number 1 in it as it can be difficult to tell if it’s a letter or a numeral. Avoid goofy or cutesy email monikers such as vanhalenlvr83 or similar. Email systems that use automated spam authenticators are loathed by recruiters and line managers alike, so stay away from them during you job search. Remember, you can set up an email address that you use JUST for job search.

2. Mechanical Mistakes

Misspellings are the most common mechanical mistake. People rely on spell-check too much. Spell-check can’t tell the difference, though, in meaning. If you write “manger” instead of “manager”, spell-check won’t flag it. Other mechanical problems include verb tense shift and capitalization. It seems like when in doubt, job seekers will capitalize something just “to be on the safe side” but that just creates an error.

3. Fluff Phrases

The profile or summary is often the most difficult section of the resume to create. As a result, job seekers fall back on soft-skill phrases or fluff phrases such as “good communicator” or “hard-working”. These sound good but they tell the reader nothing. These are subjective traits that are opinion-based. You may think you are a good communicator but your peers might say otherwise. These traits will be judged in the interview so don’t load the resume down with these. Remember, 99.9% of all the other candidates will also be claiming these skills. Have you ever heard of anyone putting “bad communicator” or “lazy with sloppy attention to detail” on the resume?

4. Too Much Information (TMI)

Job seekers often forget for whom they are writing. The recruiter or hiring manager is going to be skim-reading the resume and will be looking for the main points. The job seeker, on the other hand, feels it’s necessary to put every bit of information possible in the resume, right down to including that Eagle Scout designation from 1984. Having too much information, or irrelevant information, is a common resume error.

5. Too Little Information (TLI)

The opposite of TMI is TLI – too little information. Being too general in the resume is just as bad as being too wordy. Usually too little information takes the form of no details on achievements. Most people can get their job duties or role descriptions down but falter when it’s time to detail their successes in some sort of quantitative or qualitative way. As a result, the content is thin or bland and doesn’t inspire the reader to make contact with the job seeker.

6. Passive Voice

We are all taught that formal writing is passive voice writing. Most people have a tendency to write in the passive voice, especially when composing their resumes. Passive voice – “responsible for”, “duties included”, etc. – is weak writing. Resumes need to be powerful sales documents and passive voice doesn’t persuade the reader. Make sure the resume is written in active voice with lots of solid keywords throughout the content.

7. Functional Format

Using the functional format (also called a skills resume) is probably the most deadly error you can commit in terms of the resume’s effectiveness. Recruiters and employers literally detest the functional format. It does not give them the information they need in the format they want. Additionally, it generally indicates that the job seeker is trying to hide something since the functional format is used to cover up problems such as date gaps, job hopping, or lack of experience. Just the mere appearance of the functional format is a huge turnoff to decision-makers.

8. Personal Information

The fact that you are an avid skeeball player, or that you collect old world coins has no relevance to whether or not you are qualified for the position. So why include information on hobbies, sports, or interests?

9. Poor Design

The old large-left-margin layout is long out of fashion and fancy designs, images or tables will really give the databases a hard time when you upload your resume. The best thing to do when it comes to design of your resume is KISS – keep it simple, sweetie. Yes, make it appealing, but over designed resumes will get scrambled in uploads, and thus not win interviews.

10. One Page Length

One page resumes are long gone unless you are a new graduate without much experience. Having said that, we still see plenty of one page resumes for more senior job seekers come in for critiques. It does surprise me! When a job seeker tries to limit the content of the resume to fit into one page, he/she is cutting vital information to adhere to a “rule” that is not valid for most resumes. Many resumes (including mid-level) are two pages in length and three pages are acceptable for some senior level candidates.

Author: Alesia Benedict

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Comments

  1. says

    Yup, you can tell who hasn’t job-hunted for 15 years from that old “large-left-margin” format! But I’m surprised about the “one page” … I’ve been told that hiring managers now spend about 20 seconds deciding whether your resume goes in the “toss” or “keep” pile, and if they don’t “get” you in the length of time it takes to scan one page, forget it.

  2. says

    Yup, you can tell who hasn’t job-hunted for 15 years from that old “large-left-margin” format! But I’m surprised about the “one page” … I’ve been told that hiring managers now spend about 20 seconds deciding whether your resume goes in the “toss” or “keep” pile, and if they don’t “get” you in the length of time it takes to scan one page, forget it.

  3. says

    Yup, you can tell who hasn’t job-hunted for 15 years from that old “large-leff-margin” format! But I’m surprised about the “one page” … I’ve been told that hiring managers now spend about 20 seconds deciding whether your resume goes in the “toss” or “keep” pile, and if they don’t “get” yoy in the length of time it takes to scan one page, forget it.;

  4. says

    Yup, you can tell who hasn’t job-hunted for 15 years from that old “large-leff-margin” format! But I’m surprised about the “one page” … I’ve been told that hiring managers now spend about 20 seconds deciding whether your resume goes in the “toss” or “keep” pile, and if they don’t “get” yoy in the length of time it takes to scan one page, forget it.;

  5. says

    Recruiters are getting over 200 resumes a day for some PM jobs, that front page needs to be cracker. Agree that your resume should go over several pages just make sure the front page has all you best stuff !!!

  6. says

    Great point – the most relevant and important information definitely needs to go on the first page since that is what the employer sees first (and only if it interests them will they look at the other pages). Another tip for multiple-page resumes is to make sure that your name and contact information is on every page. This way if your resume pages get separated and mixed in with other paperwork on the employer’s desk, he or she will be able to easily put them back together.

    - The Doostang Team

  7. Jobseeker says

    I get the sense that cover letters are just as, if not more important than the resume itself. What do you think?

  8. Joanne Lucas says

    Your resume should not only be what you did, but how you helped! Did you increase efficiency…did you increase business..? This will help you on your interview when asked, “Tell me about yourself”.
    Please have a professional e-mail address…as well as a professional answering phone message…no music, religion, children…just your phone number and that you will contact the person as quickly as possible…NOT at your convenience!

  9. says

    Not sure I agree with 1 page resume comment – quality of information (past corporate experience and levels) can pique interest and cause me to want to know more.

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