Common Resume Mistakes - 2014 | Resumonk

Looking to land your dream job? Before you send out your spruced-up resume to employers and recruiters, ensure that you aren’t guilty of making the following mistakes.

#1 Using a generic objective statement

To obtain a position enabling me to utilize my strong communication and leadership skills that offers growth and advancement opportunities ..

Does your resume start out with such a vague statement? If yes, remove it now. Hiring managers literally spend a few seconds on each resume, and you’d lose the race before even it started.

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, President of Career Trend suggests replacing the objective with a focused headline and profile summary that markets your value to alleviate a company’s pain.

Make it as relevant as possible for the job position you are applying. e.g. A preschool teacher can summarize herself in the following way:

“Passionate early childhood educator with over 8+ years of experience in cultivating young children’s learning through emergent curriculum. Fluent in English & Spanish.”

#2 Very few accomplishment statements

Most job seekers just list out responsibilities and duties in their resume. An often repeated advice is to use metrics to quantify your contribution e.g. “Implemented XYZ marketing strategy to increase sales by 35%”. But what if your job profile makes it difficult to come up with these hard numbers?

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, President & CEO of GreatResumesFast suggests the following:

Think about a challenge or situation you faced while employed. What action did you take to address it? What was the outcome? That’s your story, that’s the value you offer employers, those are your results/accomplishments/successes/contributions. By the way, it is also great practice for behavioral interviewing.

#3 Grammatical mistakes & inconsistencies

Review your resume multiple times to get rid of any grammatical mistakes. Michelle Lopez, Founder of One2One Resumes offers the following excellent tips for proofreading:

1. Proofread quietly, away from distractions like television, radio, family and friends – find a quiet space.
2. Slow down. Don’t skim over words, read each and every one.
3. Don’t limit yourself to reading your resume on the computer screen – print it out and read it on paper.
4. Read out loud. Hearing your words alerts you when what you have written is not what you thought you’d written.
5. Get someone else to proofread the resume as well.

Also, get rid of any inconsistencies in the use of hyphens or capitalization when it comes to employer/city names. e.g. If your previous employer was called PineTree Graphics, do not write it down as Pinetree graphics etc. Attention to detail is a much sought after quality in most of the jobs and you don’t want to leave a bad first impression about yourself.

#4 Formatting inconsistencies

Use consistency in font sizing and bullet point styles. If you are making the employer names as bold and dates as italics, do it consistently through out the resume. Be careful of the whitespace related issues between paragraphs and the margins.

Or better, use an online resume builder like Resumonk to come up with a beautiful resume for yourself.

#5 Including personal information such as age/date of birth or marital status

You are being hired for your skills and the value that you’ll add to the organization. Your age or marital status has no relevance in most job applications. You should leave them out in your resume.

Published by Aditya Babbar

Aditya is the Co-Founder of Resumonk. He is a programmer past his sell-by-date and now focuses on user acquisition & retention.

Typically, he is found either travelling in the Himalayas, writing long emails or reading articles on how not to procrastinate.