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20 Common Resume Mistakes That Could Keep You From Getting a Job

Are you making any of these common resume mistakes? Check over your resume for these common errors to give yourself a better chance of being hired.

1. Not Proofreading Your Resume

Even the most confident writer can benefit from taking a second look at their resume to check for typos. Believe it or not, one of the most common resume mistakes is faulty contact information, usually from misspelling an email address or accidentally typing the wrong phone number.

2. Resume Formatting Mistakes

A hiring manager’s first impression of you comes from the overall appearance of your resume. If your formatting is inconsistent, that will stand out. Make sure you are using consistent fonts, font sizes, underlining or bolding on headers, and bullet points.

3. Application Instruction Resume Mistakes

You’d be surprised how many job applicants get screened out just because they didn’t strictly follow the instructions on the application page. Always take the time to carefully read any directions on the site and modify your resume as requested.

4. Stretching the Truth

Most companies do background checks before they hire a candidate, and lying on a resume can cost you the job. Even small stretches, like saying you regularly used software you only used once, could make an employer think twice about you.

5. Too Much Modesty

On the flip side, some candidates make the mistake of failing to share important achievements or awards. Your resume is a chance to make a good first impression, so you should never sell yourself short.

6. Vague Employment Dates

Many hiring gatekeepers assume something’s wrong if you fail to include months on your resume. An employer may suspect you’re hiding a gap in employment and simply trash your resume rather than asking why you didn’t include exact dates.

7. Recycling Resumes

When it comes to job applications, quality trumps quantity. Most job seekers have more success when they take the time to tailor their resume to each job they apply for rather than applying for as many jobs as they can with the same resume.

8. Unprofessional Email Addresses

While the funny email address you created as an immature middle school student or together with your spouse might be just fine for personal use, it’s probably not the one you should use for job applications. We recommend creating a simple, professional, and personal email address that includes your name with a modern email provider such as Gmail or Outlook. Don’t forget to check your inbox!

9. Poorly Explained Career Changes

If your past experience seems unrelated to the job you are applying for, an employer may assume that you’re simply applying for everything under the sun and not serious about the particular job they’re offering. Be sure to include an explanation of why you are seeking a particular position if it is not closely related to your past work.

10. Including Personal Information

At this stage in the hiring process, employers don’t need or want to know what you do in your spare time. Don’t discuss your personal interests or hobbies unless they are related to the job.

11. Bad Resume File Names

Resumes should be named with your first and last name. While you may find file names that include dates or revision numbers useful, employers may see them as unprofessional. You should also avoid using outdated file formats. If you’re not sure whether your Microsoft package is up to date, consider saving your resume as a PDF, which helps you avoid formatting oddities when your resume is opened with different software.

12. Inconsistent Resume Mistakes

Many job seekers forget to recheck their dates, job titles, or job duties. If your resume doesn’t line up with the information on LinkedIn, employers will consider it a red flag.

13. Lack of Keywords in Your Resume

When there are many applicants for a job, recruiters often use software that screens for position-related keywords. Pay close attention to the words used in the job description, e.g. “customer service skills” or “logistics,” and use some of them in your resume.

14. Weak Verbs

One way to make your resume shine is by using exact verbs that show what you did. Rather than using vague, bland words like “helped” or “utilized”, try to describe the actual work you carried out using action verbs like “achieved” or “spearheaded”.

15. Crowded Pages

It’s important to leave some white space on your resume to give the hiring manager breathing room and space to make notes. While it may be difficult to scale down your experience or skills section after you’ve had a few different jobs, it’s better to keep your resume easy to read rather than overwhelm an interviewer with text.

16. Emphasizing the Wrong Information

You should almost always bold the position you had rather than the company you worked for or the years you worked there. You should also make sure your resume emphasizes your most relevant experience rather than the positions that were most complex or that you had for the longest amounts of time.

17. Lengthy Resume

Your resume should never go on for more than a few pages at most. Employers simply don’t have time to read through the descriptions of every job you’ve ever held, and they only want to see your most relevant skills and experiences. While it can be hard to decide what to cut, you should strive to make your resume fit on one page, two at the most.

18. Too-Obvious Technical Skills

If you are applying for a clerical or office job, don’t list familiarity with basic software like Microsoft Word unless it is specifically mentioned in the job description or you are just starting out in the workforce. Ideally, you should use your limited space to highlight skills with more advanced software such as QuickBooks or ERP software. You should also include soft skills like attention to detail, communication, and problem-solving skills.

19. Claims Made Without Evidence

If you want to make claims that can be measured in some way, it’s always best to include real statistics and an explanation of how you made them happen. For example, rather than simply saying you reduced maintenance costs, you should find out and include the percent reduction in costs over a specific time period.

20. Overlooking Volunteer Work

If you’ve gained or demonstrated skills in your volunteer work, be sure to include it on your resume. For example, if you are applying for an office manager position, you may want to include your administrative contributions to a local fundraiser or the fact that you managed a team of volunteers. Employers appreciate this experience and what it says about your character.

Having Trouble With Your Utah Job Search?

LG Resources matches job seekers with employers throughout Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, and Utah Counties. We focus on the warehouse logistics and clerical industries. Apply with us today to jumpstart your job search!

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