Mistakes in resumes or CVs will, at best, give an employer a bad first impression of you; at worst, they will cost you your dream job. Unfortunately, it’s deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume, some you might not even know are resume no-nos. Even more bad news, resume issues are among the top reasons companies reject job applications
So, before attaching your CV to your job application pitch, review it and see if it contains any of the common resume mistakes listed below.
1. Grammatical and typographical errors
You might think small spelling errors aren’t much, but hiring managers may look at them and conclude that you don’t care enough to polish your resume. Before saving and sending your work, make sure to review it for errors or run it through a grammar checker and correct the spelling and other grammar mistakes you might have committed.
2. Using an unprofessional e-mail address
Apart from the purpose of getting in touch with you, your e-mail address is also a measure of your professionalism. You don’t want a recruitment specialist in the public sector to overlook your excellent background and experience because they see that you’re still using the e-mail address you made in Year 6 saying “onedirectionlover_027.” Opt for a straightforward e-mail address instead, preferably with just your name in it.
3. Including irrelevant information
Most resumes are only a page long, two if you have extensive relevant experiences. So, it’s best to maximise the space by only including the information pertinent to the job you’re applying for. Your hobbies, marital status and secondary school background are pieces of information that take up space but provide no value to employers, so leave them out of your resume. Instead, use the space to highlight your internships and previous jobs that gave you relevant experiences for the position you’re applying for now.
4. Having blocks of dense texts
Dozens of research over the years have tried to answer how long recruiters look at someone’s resume. Ladders Inc.’s Eye-Tracking studies are some of the most often-quoted research on this subject. In 2012, the results of their study showed that recruiters initially spend six seconds to view a resume. Their updated 2018 study revealed the average time went up to 7.4 seconds. Within that timeframe, you must capture the recruiter’s interest and the lack of white space due to long blocks of text won’t do you any favours.
5. Failing to customize the resume for each job application
Possibly the worst resume mistake to commit is using the same one while applying at different companies. While you don’t need to redo your entire resume for every application, you need to tweak little things so they align with each specific position you’re applying for. If you write a general career summary or job objective, for example, professional recruiters will be able to tell. So, add or remove information depending on its relevance to the position you want.
Keep in mind that your resume is the first form of communication between you and a prospective employer, so you’d want to make a great first impression. Avoid falling for the resume pitfalls stated above and you’ll be one step closer to securing your dream job.