The Most Common Mistakes On Undergraduate Resumes

Posted by in Career Advice

When you are in college, or just getting out, writing your first professional resume can be a challenge. But, what are recruiters looking for when they read over your resume? To answer that question, I did a little research and ran across a great article from Ronald Mitchell at His article talked about some of the most common mistakes on undergraduate resumes. Although he listed them briefly, I felt that they were so important that we should go over each one to be sure that you don't make any of these mistakes. If 90% of applicants are getting it wrong, then getting it right will make you stand out from the pack.

#6 Use of an “Objective” statement

Let me tell you why I hate when students put an “Objective” on their resume. If I am hiring for a job and you send me your resume, the only objective I even want to consider is that you want the job that I am posting. What else would I care about?Is the fact that your objective is to get a job in “consulting” going to make me look more favorably upon your candidacy? The only objective statement that would ever make a difference to me is if you said “My objective since I was in elementary school has been to work for your company”.That might resonate…but it’s probably not true.”

It used to be common to include an objective statement at the top of your resume so that you could inform the reader of why you are giving them your resume. Historically, people would give copies of their resume to businesses where they wanted to work, even if the company wasn't advertising a positon. This isn't how it works now, so it is irrelevant. I think it is best to just delete that section and move on, but some people suggest that it is better to use the space to self summarize and highlight your key qualifications. The top of the page is prime real estate for adding keywords that catch a readers attention. This also can help if the company scans the resumes they receive and then searches for the ones that contain keywords listed in their ads. Whether you skip it or turn it into a self summary is up to you.

The only time that it is useful to write an objective or mission type statement is when you are changing careers. If you are applying for a job that you are not exactly qualified for or one in a field that you haven't been working in previously, it can help to explain in the objective section why you think that you would be a good candidate. Whenever you think that a hiring manager would have questions about why you are applying for the position, it is best to address the concern at the beginning. Because often, when employers are given a resume with mostly job experience in an unrelated field, they would assume that the applicant wasn't clear on what the job was and the resume is thrown out.

In the next post, we will take a look at mistake #5

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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.


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