Biggest Resume Mistakes That Could Cost You the Interview

The importance and necessity of a modern resume are understood by everyone who is looking for a job. It is better to spend more time on creating a resume because if a person comes up with a resume able to grab the recruiter’s attention, the chances to get invitations for an interview become much higher.

Unfortunately, successful resumes are a minority. According to Preptel statistics, recruiters do not even get to see 75% of resumes that are sent to them, because of an Applicant Tracking System. The problem with such resumes, which have been rejected, often lies in the design of a resume itself.

Job seekers surprise employers with the number of careless mistakes, inaccuracies, and sometimes just resume bloopers. Therefore, to obtain the desired results and be visible to recruiters, the candidate should pay attention to some things to avoid on a resume.

The Most Common Resume Mistakes

Spelling mistakes

According to CareerBuilder, 54% of resumes are misspelled. A resume is a very important two-page document that contains a lot of text that must be performed in a competent and structured way. The errors that applicants tend to make can be different and the employer can easily notice the typo in the resume. If the specialist is irresponsible about the literacy test, the chances of getting a job are reduced critically.

Lack of goal-setting

Certainly, applying for just one post is a very dubious idea, so people try different options for employment. For example, some are applying for the same position, but in different companies. Candidates make a huge mistake, believing that a resume created once will be suitable for all openings. If the resume is too general, then it can lead to automatic rejection of the candidate. Instead of sending a generic resume to multiple employers, the most effective option would be to work on this document and tailor it to the job description as closely as possible.

And the same if a person is interested in several posts at once, they should make a resume for each of them, taking into account the requirements indicated in the vacancy.

Let us suppose an employer reads the resume for a position “of the secretary, translator, sales manager, tourism manager, product manager, and an administrator in a beauty salon.” For an employer, such a motley wording is a sign that a specialist either does not know what they want or is looking for any post, just not to be out of business. The second option is understandable from a human point of view, but for the employer, it is an argument against that.

But it is even worse if there is no targeted position at all. An applicant who does not have a clear career strategy does not have a specific goal – the choice is risky because at any time such a specialist can leave the company for a more attractive post.

It is also worthwhile for job seekers to spend more time writing more personalized cover letters. For seekers who have doubts about their cover letter, working with a ResumeEdge is a great opportunity to get a quality cover letter without mistakes, as well as having your personality and experience highlighted.

Incompleted contact section

Job seekers make a huge mistake if they do not provide their contact information or write incorrect ones. The resume may be beautifully written, but in this way, people will end their career without even starting it if they do not write contacts.

Of course, there may be situations in which it is impossible to respond to the employer: for example, if a person is at a meeting or communicates with a client. This is not critical: they can always call back, only it is important to do it promptly. But if the employer calls once, and twice, and hears a number-unobtainable tone, then for the third time they will not tempt fate.

Also, in the era of social networks, it is worth taking care of a well-filled profile on LinkedIn, because if it is empty, then this may discourage a recruiter from inviting the person for an interview. If a postulate wants to have a perfectly filled profile on social networks, then they can turn to the ResumeEdge service for LinkedIn profile writing, which will bring their profile as closely as possible to the requirements of the employer.

ATS rejection

More than 98% of the world’s largest companies use ATS to facilitate the selection process. And it is at this stage that quarter resumes are being screened out. There are several mechanisms through which the system determines whether a candidate is suitable or not, so it is very important to check the document on reference points. Firstly, the candidate needs to review their skills. It may sound obvious, but due to the absence of key requirements for a certain position, the person will fail.

We also mentioned earlier the importance of an individual approach to each opening. ATS also identifies all submitted applications of a person to the company. It is normal if a person sends a resume for related occupations because they can be equally interested in them. But when a candidate applies for completely different positions, this indicates their low interest in the profession.

Also, ATS operates on the principle of keyword scanning. The system decides whether a candidate is suitable based on the requirements for the post. If a person does not indicate the required keywords, then they are automatically not allowed for further consideration.

Focusing on responsibilities, not results

For a resume to bear fruit, it must have a well-developed work experience section that hooks the employer and encourages them to invite the candidate for an interview. Of course, this is a key part of the resume that shows if you may have the necessary skills, but it is not enough just to describe your responsibilities.

Focusing only on responsibilities is also one of the worst resume mistakes: most suppliants simply list their responsibilities and tasks performed but do not mention the results obtained. But in reality, the results are what recruiters are most interested in because this is how they can be convinced of a person’s abilities. A successful resume mixes responsibilities and skills with personal impact. To make the greatest impression on an employer, it is best to use numbers that highlight success in previous positions.

Also, applicants should make a bulleted list in the experience section that begins with a strong action verb. Words like “managed”, “developed”, and “led” are so much more powerful than something like “responsible for”. And it is advisable not to repeat the same verbs in the same position.

We want to share examples of both a poorly written and successful professional experiences section:

  • The first candidate wrote that they “monitored the implementation of the PDS talent development cycle to include review, talent and leadership development”. But these lines do not give the slightest idea of what the person has achieved, in what ways they did it, and how it affected the project.
  • All these factors can be combined as “implemented the PDS talent development cycle including review, talent and leadership development, IDPs, 360’a career pathways, high-potential groups, training facilitation, staff surveys, and cultural integration that reduced employee turnover by 20 percent in the company”. This way, the recruiter has a clearer understanding of the person and the benefits they can bring, because these words are supported by facts.

Related: 5 Tips for Turning Your Resume into a Job-Winning Interview

Another Resume Mistakes To Avoid

There are some standards, the document should be no more than two pages, so hiring managers often do not even accept voluminous resumes. To prevent a person from being considered an avid writer, all information not related to professional activity should be excluded. The more information in the resume, the more chances that it will be ignored.

For each place of work, it is enough to indicate only the main responsibilities and achievements. In the section on additional education, they need to write only basic training sessions and courses.

But these tips do not apply to the federal resume, which has its own specifics. The difference between the federal and the civil resume is that, on the contrary, it requires a more detailed description.

Poor Resume Example

The ResumeEdge team analyzed a poor resume sample and would like to share some of the CV errors the applicant made.

  1. There is no targeted position.
  2. They did not indicate their address and email, making it impossible to contact them.
  3. Vague summary

Another mistake that many applicants make while creating a resume is the summary which does not reflect the main proficiencies of the person. As we can see in the sample below, the person uses typical formulations which do not bring any specificity. Therefore, an aspirant should avoid making the summary too general using hack phrases or clichéd keywords.

  1. Responsibilities and accomplishments are not separated

Like many other entrants, they did not separate responsibilities and accomplishments by the headline, making it difficult for hiring managers to highlight the most achievements of their experience.

  1. Lack of pattern

The achievements highlighted there are not written in the pattern: Achievement-action-result. Thus, if a person wants to get a job, they need to apply their analytical skills and reflect on previous work experience.

  1. The Tools section is missing
  2. The education section is incomplete: there are no University names and GPA scores.

Undoubtedly, creating a resume is not easy, but anyone looking for the perfect place for themselves can seek assistance from the resume service to make sure that their CV is professionally crafted.