These Resume Mistakes Could Cost You the Job

John Krautzel
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Certain resume mistakes could doom your job search to failure. Any of these key errors in your resume might lessen your chance of getting the job of your dreams, and they go beyond forgetting to spell check your document.

1. Outdated Contact Information

It seems so simple, but including the wrong contact information is a resume mistake that prevents hiring managers from contacting you at all. Double-check your phone number, email address and LinkedIn URL to ensure contacting you is as simple as possible.

2. Bland Objective Statement

HR, hiring managers and recruiters know your objective is to get a job. Instead of writing a bland objective, include a Career Summary section that lists three or four of your best attributes, accomplishments or experiences.

3. Listing Obvious Duties

Listing obvious job duties under a job title wastes the reader's time and takes up valuable resume space. Instead, explain how you went above and beyond your normal job duties to solve problems or generate new customers.

4. Lying

Little white lies might seem harmless, but a background and reference check may prove otherwise. Do not lie on your resume. Employers value honest workers, so tell the truth about your abilities, experiences and qualifications.

5. Attaching Weird Photos

A professional headshot or logo is all you need to market your personal brand. Never include group shots or a casual photographs in your profile.

6. Too Long

Unless you're applying for a highly technical or advanced position, try to keep your resume close to one page in length. Trying to include too much information about your education and job history is a major resume mistake. Stick to relevant and recent experiences directly related to the position.

7. Passive Writing

Include active statements instead of simply listing job duties. Every sentence should have some quantifiable aspect of your experience. Consider the sentence, "Led a dedicated team of three people that expanded sales territory into six new states over four months while increasing sales by 5 percent." This sounds much better and more impressive than "Top salesperson in new areas."

8. Bad Resume Format

Some recruiters do not read resumes in word processing formats. Submit your resume as a PDF file to ensure the hiring manager can easily access and read the document.

9. Disparaging Former Employers

One horrible resume mistake is to bad-mouth a former manager or organization. Use your resume and cover letter to present yourself in a positive light, and leave out negative information about former employers or work environments.

A simple resume mistake doesn't have to tank your odds of landing a position during your job search. Thoroughly vet your resume for these potential errors to create as clean of a document as possible.

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Aimee thanks for your comment. When you are writing your resume, you don't need to include every task that you do. What you want to include are those tasks that are measurable, quantifiable and actionable. If we listed every task that we performed at each position, our resumes would be ten pages long all of the time. That is why it's best to just include the ones I mentioned. Also, if you have done the same tasks at more than one position, you don't need to repeat the task under each position - just once. That is how you can limit the length of your resume. But please note that one page is just a guideline. If your resume needs to be two pages, then so be it. If you need to go to two pages, make sure that your heading information is on both pages so that the hiring manager gets the entire resume. Best of luck.

  • Aimee Turcotte
    Aimee Turcotte

    How do you keep to 1 page if doing #7?

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