In the professional world, there is no place for mistakes. Errors can cause serious damage to time and costs for the company. That's why when hiring, organizations don't take any chance. As they cannot judge the capability of a person, unless he or she is hired and is actually working on the job, they depend largely on resumes to judge the candidates. When the recruiters encounter any resume mistakes, they simply toss the job application into the trash. They consider them as an unprofessional and unqualified person. All their skills, abilities, and experience hold no importance in such a situation. Moreover, recruiters also build an assumption that they are likely to commit the same mistake on the job. So as a jobseeker, you need to be absolutely cautious not to appear unprofessional and incite the recruiters to throw away your job application.
Remember, your resume is the only way for hiring managers to assess you. Therefore, it should be free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation error. Furthermore, you need to be cautious about using the standard resume format prevailing in the job industry. Errors of any kind will blow away the chances of securing your dream job. Once your job application is rejected, you cannot reapply for at least another six months. Some companies may even not reconsider you for another a year or so. Waiting for such a long period will affect your confidence. Even regretting over resume mistakes will not do any good. Therefore, when preparing a job application, see that you don't commit these ten resume mistakes.
Not using a standard resume format
It is a fact that many applicants are not aware about the different resume format prevalent in the job industry. In all, there are three resume formats: functional, chronological, and combined. Each of these resume formats is created with a specific purpose to make applicants easy for drafting and recruiters for assessing applicants.
When there is more emphasis on skills and achievements than experience, functional resume format is used. It helps applicants to showcase skills relevant to the job.
Things included in this resume format:
This is the most widely used resume format in the job industry. It is used when the emphasis is more on experience. Applicants can list their experience starting with the most recent to the oldest. After laying out experience, skills and education section is placed.
Things included in this resume format:
The title for this resume format itself makes it clear that it combines both the functional and chronological resume formats. With this resume format, you can emphasize both skills and experience. Driving the attention of hiring managers towards these two vital job aspects is easy using combined resume format. However, there is less or no scope for highlighting career summary and other sections in this format.
Things included in this resume format:
So before choosing any of these resume formats, check the requirement of recruiters. Analyze and understand whether they are more concerned about skills, experience, achievements, or all. Also, when using the functional resume format, see that you list dates of employment and details of employers. Many applicants make the mistake of not including dates and employer details. In such cases, hiring managers feel that you want to hide something, or a career gap.
Not adding contact information
Believe it, even the hardcore professionals have committed this silly mistake. Whether deliberate or unintentional, applicants have mailed or posted their resumes without any contact information on several occasions. The mentality behind not adding contact information could be the assumption that hiring managers use their network to find candidates. Some applicants are too conscious about their privacy and don't want to indulge where they live. Remember, nobody is going to visit your home to see where and how you live. The hiring managers just want to know which city and state you reside in. Unless you give them a reason to visit your home, nobody will ever do it. They just want to know your location so that they can have a brief idea on how you will be commuting to the job if hired. Having a proper contact information also makes them feel that you are a feasible candidate. So don't ignore or be afraid of adding contact information along with an email address and phone number.
Highlighting responsibilities and not achievements
Every job comes with lots of duties and responsibilities. But there are hardly a few who are able to accomplish all that have been assigned to them. So just listing your responsibilities will not help the recruiters to assess how good you are. Moreover, they are not interested in knowing your duties or responsibilities. They are rather keen on learning what you have accomplished. So show them the contributions you have made to the company's growth, how you helped the company in completing a project in time and budget, what innovative process you brought to the table that helped the company reduce overhead expenses, and improving overall efficiency, or how you managed to increase revenue or profit of the company. If you have actually done a lot for your previous and current employers, flaunt it in your resume. If you are able to quantify your achievements, that will surely work in your favor. By including accomplishments, you will be showing the would-be employer how good you are, and why they should trust you for the job.
Fine! An objective is the starting point of a resume. But what applicants fail to understand is that objectives are meant for those who are just out of the college or internship program, and are trying to get their foot into a professional world. If you're new to the job field, then using an objective in your resume will not make the hiring managers cringe. But in case you are a professional with enough experience, then you must refrain from using the objective. Instead, use a “Professional Summary.” This summary must highlight your core skills and what you can offer to the company. Consider it as a professional introduction, and as an opportunity to entice the readers to continue reading your resume. Draft it in a way that makes the recruiters eager to know about you. Leave no chance to turn this introductory section in your favor. Leverage it to the best of advantage to fetch positive response from the recruiters.
Unexplained gap in career
Whether it is moving to a new city or state, illness or injuries, or closing of the company, the reasons are myriads and differ from person to person. It is understood that nobody wants to stay away from the job without any reason that causes an unnecessary career gap, which gets difficult to explain when returning to the job. So hiding a career gap in the resume is not a good thing. The recruiters just want to know what you have been doing during the break, and whether you have lost the touch, or you still have the spark in you.
Even if the situation has forced you to take a break from the job, utilize it in honing your skills. Join some professional course that can help you in the long run. Find out what type of job will be in demand in the future. Research the kind of skills that are necessary for such a job. If you are not utilizing your break to upgrade your skills, then explaining a career gap will be difficult. In that case, recruiters would consider you as someone who has lost the touch.
Not using action verbs
Applicants who lack the skills of resume writing often tend to forget the importance of action verbs. These verbs are those words using which you can show what action you have taken to complete the responsibility, or how you did a particular job. There are many such words that can present you as an action-oriented person. For example, resolved, increased, developed, completed, analyzed, reviewed, etc. Using words such as “responsible for” will not help the recruiters know whether you have actually fulfilled it. So show them the initiative taken and what you accomplished using action verbs.
Including Irrelevant Detail
In order to impress the hiring managers, many applicants commit the mistakes of including irrelevant details. This not only pissed them, but also debar you from the selection process. So stay away from adding details about age, gender, marital status, hobbies in the resume. Some even go to the extend of adding skills that have no link or connection with the applied job. Committing such mistakes shows that you haven't read the job description or requirements of the employer, and have drafted the resume in haste. Instead of adding any information randomly, try to find out whether it will help you or not. Just wasting yours and the readers' time by including unwanted details will become a strong reason for your elimination. Therefore, include only those relevant information and skills.
Nonprofessional E-mail account
We all have fancy email IDs created during college days for easy remembrance or sound different from others. Some even think that such email IDs make them appear a computer geek. But in the professional world, such a nonprofessional email account does the opposite. Imagine how it will sound when you include email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org in your resume. Keep it for your friends' circle if such email accounts are that important for you. But always act like a professional when it comes to a career.
Ignoring Social Media Links
Besides your caliber, companies are also interested in knowing about your friend circle. The type of people you frequent with and the messages or information that you share also helps them in judging you as a person both on and off the field. To understand you better as a person, they make use of social media. So instead of using your resume as a stand-alone document, include your social media link as well. Let the hiring managers see the type of professional links you have, the kind of people you mingle with, your take on country's social, political, and economic scenarios. By including your LinkedIn URL, recruiters will be able to judge your credibility. Your tweets will allow them to understand your take on certain important issues that affect the society and nation. Further, the type of photographs and images that you share with your friends on Facebook will also reflect your personality. So leverage the advantage of Social Media Links to demonstrate your personal values and brand.
Who will have the energy to read the resume even once after spending hours on drafting it? Moreover, we are also too eager to mail the resume thinking that it should reach the recruiters before others. But not proofreading the resume that you have drafted can throw all your efforts in the drain. Any resume that is riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors will project you as an unprofessional. Moreover, it will also show that you are not careful in what you do, pose poor attention to detail, and have poor communication skills. So it doesn't matter how effective are your skills and credentials, if the resume is inundated with mistakes, the hiring manager will never consider you.
Applicants are perplexed about why they don't receive any response from employers even after holding requisite skills and experience. They don't know the reason behind their job applications being rejected are those fatal errors they have commit in their resumes unknowingly. As a jobseeker, you need to be extra cautious about committing these resume mistakes if you want to turn the job opening to your advantage.