LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
7 mistakes to avoid on your resume
Hiring managers will judge your resume in six seconds or less. That means very little time to convince them that you deserve a chance and certainly no time for mistakes. Mistakes on a resume can discredit your qualifications. Even with a flawless cover letter, many hiring managers won’t invite you for an interview if your resume creates the impression that you put in little to no effort.
If you’ve been applying for jobs but never get a response, it’s probably because there are mistakes on your resume that have been selling you short. The good news is you can change that if you know what to avoid. This blog highlights common resume writing mistakes and shows you what to do instead.
1. Using the Same Resume for Every Application
You should adjust your resume every time you’re applying for a new job. A qualification that seems crucial to one employer may be at the bottom of the list for another, even for the same job title. Plus, the level of the role determines which skills on your resume are more important than others.
For instance, your management skills matter more when applying for a managerial position as opposed to an associate-level position. Adjusting accordingly gives your roles more relevance, making you stand out from the rest of the applicants.
2. Outdated or Missing Contact Information
If they can’t trace you, they can’t hire you. It would be a shame to do everything right but lose the opportunity over incorrect or old information. Review your contact information each time you update your resume to ensure you update any outdated information.
In addition, it’s important to use a professional email address on your resume. For example, “firstname.lastname@example.org” shows unprofessionalism, and recruiters will often pass on unserious candidates. Instead, use or create an email address with your name, such as “email@example.com.” This is more professional and helps recruiters find you easier.
3. Always Including Your GPA
There’s nothing wrong with good grades but HR experts argue that adding them to your resume is not always necessary. The power of indicating your GPA, especially if it’s not a 4, wanes as you gain professional experience.
If you’re a new graduate –that is, left college within the last 3 to 5 years –you can state other academic achievements such as graduating with honors. In the same vein, talk about your honorary awards more so if you had a habit of earning them. Honors are often deemed as signs of leadership.
4. Attaching Photos When It’s Not a Requirement
Unless asked to provide photos or attach a video with an elevator pitch, including one can come across as unprofessional. In most cases, your resume is supposed to showcase your skillset and experience to gauge whether you qualify for a job – not to find out how you look.
5. Including Unrelated Work Experience
Be picky about what job experiences you include in your resume. Not every volunteer experience is worth writing about. When you have been working for many years, find the most recent roles that are relevant to the position you’re looking for.
To add weight to professional experiences, go into detail with professional achievements concerning how you earned or saved the company money. For example, instead of saying, “handled written communications, say, ‘handled social media communication for X months which increased traffic by 50% and improved conversions by 20.”
6. Grammatical Mistakes and Spelling Errors
One grammatical mistake is one too many on a resume. Be careful with online grammar tools too. They are not perfect. Proofread your resume more than once and double-check for clarity. You should also have someone else read it to spot anything you may have missed.
Also, ensure you don’t use a casual tone or slang words. Avoid fancy fonts as well. The font is the first thing hiring managers will see before they read a word on your resume. It’s crucial to use an easy-to-read and professional font – Times New Roman or Arial size 12 in black are the most acceptable fonts in professional settings.
7. Writing an Objective Statement Instead of a Professional Summary
An objective statement just repeats your line of work and talks about your career goals without stating how that helps the company you want to work for. A professional summary tells employers what you can do for them, and that’s more important.
Start by writing about three of your strongest skills, followed by what you hope to do for the company in a bulleted list. It’s easy for recruiters to read and gives information in a simple-to-understand manner.
The Bottom Line
The best thing you can do while job hunting is to make sure your resume is written well. While a perfectly done resume doesn’t guarantee you the job, it does guarantee that someone will see it, which increases your chances of getting an offer.
Lutz Talent offers recruitment services for a variety of roles in the accounting and finance industries. If you’re looking for a job, contact us with any questions or browse our current opportunities.
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