The resume below stands out – but not in a good way. It is riddled with mistakes that will ensure it ends up in the ‘circular file’ (in other words, the trash can). Take a look and see if you can find the resume errors.
Click here to view the resume PDF: Error Resume
There are several oversights here that need to be corrected.
#1 – Forget fancy formatting
While you want to make sure your resume catches the recruiter’s eye, experimenting with fonts or adding borders is not the way to do it. It indicates that your skills and achievements can’t speak for themselves.
#2 – Use a professional email address
A true ‘smart cookie’ wouldn’t put such a casual email handle on her resume. Make sure you have a formal email address for your professional needs. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org are all fine examples.
#3 – Have a clear objective
The objective above could refer to virtually any person applying for virtually any job. If including an objective, make sure that it speaks to specific career goals and is tailored to the position.
#4 – Say goodbye to high school
Unless a high school diploma is highest degree you have, leave it off your resume.
#5 – Avoid abbreviations
While state names can be abbreviated, in the example above, UCLA, B.A. and L.A. should be written out.
#6 – Go beyond spellcheck
Spellcheck may be invaluable, but it is not infallible. The example above mentions a “’Sales Assistant of the Year’ plague” instead of “plaque,” making the sentence comical instead of impressive. Spellcheck can also miss consistency errors, such as the fact that “Work Experience” is missing a colon, whereas all the other headers use one. To avoid such silly mistakes, have a few friends look over your resume for you. It will benefit from the fresh eyes.
#7 – Use action verbs
Instead of using the tired old descriptions that recruiters will have seen hundreds of times, punch up your resume by using strong action verbs. For example, instead of “responsible for writing the company blog”, try using “authored” or “composed.”
#8 – List achievements, not duties
Chances are the recruiter already knows what sort of general duties someone with your experience will have performed. Don’t just say what you did –impress them by explaining how well you did it. For instance, instead of just saying that you wrote blog posts, talk about how you worked to increase readership, and express your success in quantifiable terms (e.g. increased blog readership by 25% through use of search engine optimization).
#9 – Your interests aren’t that interesting
If one of your hobbies comes up in an interview, talking a bit about it will be a great way to connect with your interviewer and show your passion. However, your leisure activities do not belong on your resume.
#10 – Don’t reference references
In today’s job market, it is assumed that you will be able to provide references when asked. Don’t waste space on your resume mentioning it.
Were you able to catch all of the resume errors? Feel free to brag in the comments!