3 Common Resume Mistakes and How to Fix Them

John Krautzel
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Your resume serves as a professional snapshot that makes a prospective employer want to know more details about your soft skills, qualifications and background. Unfortunately, three common resume mistakes may send your vital document to the trash folder of someone's inbox. While there is no tried-and-true format that lands you an interview every time, you can learn how to fix these errors before they turn your job search into an exercise in futility.

1. Lack of Personal Brand

Your lack of personal brand may cause employers to go with someone else. Regular resume mistakes include only listing your skills, education and experience, but businesses want to go beyond just your standard document. Have a complete LinkedIn profile, including your connections and blog posts, that stands out to your employer. A LinkedIn blog that shares your views on various topics shows an employer what interests you and whether those interests mesh with the organization.

Likewise, post to social media to talk about things important to your career. Recruiters vet social media as part of the job search process, so you need to link your social media accounts to your resume as supplementary tools. Resume mistakes might also entail a complete lack of social media presence. Post regularly to solve this problem.

2. Too Many Buzzwords

Employers don't want to see a bunch of buzzwords on resume. These buzzwords aren't necessarily tied to your qualifications or skills, but they show up as trends within resumes, making them a common resume mistake. For example, "best of breed" was a buzzword listed in a Harris Poll in 2014. As of 2017, a LinkedIn survey shows some of the most overused buzzwords on resumes include "specialized," "passionate," "leadership," "strategic" and "successful." Other words on the list are "experienced," "creative," "excellent," "focused" and "enthusiastic."

These buzzwords form key resume mistakes because they don't describe specific skills. Your resume needs to illustrate your skills rather than employ generic terms that point out attributes anyone can have. Replace generic words with verifiable facts that show how you qualify for a position. Instead of "showed great leadership," say "managed a team of 20 people that grew 5 percent more revenue quarter-over-quarter for three years straight."

3. Selling Yourself Short

Don't leave important items off a resume because you lack a certain qualification. If you don't have the required qualification for a position — such as a college degree — make up for it with experience. For example, a candidate may feel as if he doesn't have what it takes for an executive-level position. Therefore, he leaves off experience due to his lack of college degree. As it turns out, the candidate's 20 years' experience at one firm made him uniquely qualified to take over a C-suite position at the same company.

These three resume mistakes do not have to doom your job opportunities. After you thoroughly research what to include in a resume, look for these errors to polish your document even further and impress your future boss.

Photo courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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