Top 10 mistakes when writing a resume

Even the most excellent specialist will not get a good offer if he made mistakes when writing a resume. The matter will simply not reach the interview, and the applicant will not have a chance to convince the employer that he is scattering valuable personnel.

Over 90% of applicants make the same mistakes when writing a resume. This is evidenced by data from a labor market survey conducted by the British company Personal Career Management. Below are the most common mistakes job seekers make.

A recruiter looks through dozens and hundreds of resumes a day. First of all, documents containing stylistic, grammatical and spelling errors are sent to the trash can. Nobody will understand whether it is about illiteracy or an accidental slip of the tongue. No firm needs a specialist who is unable to compose a simple one or two-page paper without errors.

If you doubt the spelling of a word, check it out in a dictionary. Avoid complex sentences with a jumble of participial and adverbial expressions. Reread the text several times. If you are not sure about the placement of commas, it is better to reformulate the sentence.

Determination is appreciated in any company. Whether we are talking about a small company with a dozen employees or a large international corporation. It is useless if the goal is blurred, incorrectly set, or not at all. The main mistakes in the resume related to goal setting:

  1. An applicant applies for several vacancies at once – the goal is blurred.
  2. There is no indication of which position you are applying for – there is no goal.
  3. The applicant indicates one desired position, but the resume is “sharpened” for another – the goal is incorrectly set.

Important! One resume – one vacancy. Attempts to simultaneously apply for the positions of administrator, manager and translator tell the employer only about the vagueness of the job seeker’s career strategy and his lack of demand in the labor market.

No need to try to grasp the immensity on one A4 page. If you are considering several options for employment in the same company, write a separate resume for each vacancy. It is even worse if the desired position is not listed at all. You force the employer to carefully read each line, trying to understand what kind of work you can be attached to. Nobody will do this, and the resume will immediately go to the trash can.

The last point is discussed below, in the section “Inconsistency of the resume with the desired position.”

The photo must be in the resume. This is an axiom that needs no proof. The employer must see exactly whose candidacy he is considering. When choosing a suitable photo, you should follow a couple of simple rules:

  1. Remember that you are greeted by clothes! A business suit, a neat look, a purposeful look – that’s right. Frayed jeans, tousled hair are wrong.
  2. The face must be clearly visible. No hats or sunglasses!
  3. Neutral background. No carpets, no portraits, no sun loungers in the background. It is allowed to enter the frame of the computer. This is a working tool, it will definitely not spoil the picture.
  4. There should be no other people in the photo, be they close relatives, friends or colleagues from the previous place of work.

It is bad when there is too much information and when it is too little. Don’t make the employer wonder about your accomplishments and merits. Only the data that is in the questionnaire will be taken into account. Showcase your core competencies. Think about what knowledge, skills and achievements are appropriate for a particular job.

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For example, if you want to get a job as a website promotion specialist, it makes sense to mention taking SEO courses and bringing the company’s website to the first lines of the Yandex and Google search results at the previous place of work. You shouldn’t write about a master class in cutting and sewing and the school of playing the seven-string guitar. These skills will not help in promoting a corporate resource. In the context of a resume, they represent unnecessary “information noise” that only prevents the employer from determining whether you are suitable for his vacancy.

This mistake when writing a resume has a lot in common with the previous one. It is bad when there are too many key skills and too few of them. Usually, listing five to seven competencies is sufficient. The main thing is that they must all hit the target, that is, correspond to the desired position.

Consider the example from the previous section of employment for an SEO-optimizer vacancy:

  • The resume does not indicate computer skills – no core competence. The employer can only guess what exactly you know how to do.
  • The questionnaire says “possession of a PC at the level of a confident user” – the key skill is blurred. Now you have to guess what exactly you put into the concept of “confident user”.
  • In your resume, you list dozens and hundreds of programs and technologies, most of which are not related to promotion – an overabundance of information.

The solution is the same – cut off the unnecessary, add the important. Proof of skill to apply skills in practice will not hurt either. It would be logical to mention the withdrawal of a corporate website to Yandex’s TOP-5 by a high-frequency request or the withdrawal of a resource from the sanctions of search engines. Both characterize the key skills required to perform the job. Both will be a definite plus for the employer.

The more your resume looks like hundreds of others, the more chances that it will go to the trash with them. More than a third of employers do not consider template resumes at all, according to the Career Builder study. The boilerplate can consist both in an overabundance of standard wording, and in the use of templates downloaded from the Internet.

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No one will be impressed by the hackneyed phrase “can learn quickly.” First, hundreds of other applicants have written in the same way. Secondly, these words do not characterize anything and do not show anything. How fast is it? What is the complexity of the material? There are no answers. It is a different matter if you indicate specific terms for studying a specific technology, and even with a specific example of its successful application in practice. Less hackneyed bureaucracy, get creative.

From the point of view of your potential boss, an overabundance of personal information means only the inability to separate personal life from work. The name of the dog, the age of the children, the mileage and the make of the car are unnecessary “information noise”. Remember, a resume is a business document, not a How I Spent My Summer. Nothing superfluous, nothing personal. Dozens of email addresses and phone numbers will also be superfluous. One phone number and one e-mail is enough.

The design should be such that the document is easily perceived. Mistakes to avoid:

  • The text is a solid “footcloth”. Solution: Divide into paragraphs, use enumeration lists and other readable formatting where appropriate.
  • Excessive preoccupation with fonts of all colors and sizes. Do not try to grasp the immensity and select everything at once. It is enough to focus on a couple of really important points. Don’t try to use a dozen exotic fonts, don’t overuse special characters.
  • Stylistic discord. All resumes should be designed in the same style.

A resume is a self-presentation, self-promotion. Surprisingly, most job seekers try to advertise themselves as a specialist, but do not indicate achievements. When you list your previous jobs, you only say that you spent 3 years in that office, 2 years in this office, and 5 years in this office. But dozens of your competitors write exactly the same thing, only the terms and names of companies change. You will be much more likely to get the desired vacancy if the indication of each place of work is complemented by a couple of three achievements . This can be, for example, successful developments, a 200% increase in sales, organization of interaction between branches, and so on.

As already noted, a resume is a self-promotion. And advertising cannot be “general”, it is aimed at promoting a specific product. Moreover, this product must be one. You cannot promote carburetors, beach slippers and alpine skis at the same time in the same video. That is, one resume must correspond to one vacancy. And it should be optimized specifically for it. If you are applying for more positions – write a separate resume for each.

If you are getting a job as an accountant, do not write about Japanese courses. Applying for the position of a lawyer, do not indicate the ability to program in C ++. All skills, abilities and achievements should correspond to the vacancy for which the resume is being drawn up.

Having compiled a resume and corrected the main mistakes in it, try to put yourself in the shoes of a potential employer. Imagine that you are looking at the profile of a complete stranger. Would you take him to work? And if not, why not? By answering these questions, you can avoid mistakes when writing your resume and increase your chances of successful employment.

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