QUESTION: What are the most common mistakes when writing a resume?
📌 Career Experience bullets sound like a list of job functions; bullet points need to showcase values, outcomes, solutions, or quantitative results you can point to; you need to separate job function from delivered value.
📌They think it MUST be one page, and they squeeze so much on that page or leave a lot out; when a two/three page can be the perfect fit to tell your career story.
Whether a company uses Application Tracking Software (ATS) or not, three common resume mistakes are often the nemesis of having your resume landing in the NO pile. 1 – Not using keywords found in the job description in citing your experiences and accomplishments. 2 – Listing your responsibilities instead of your accomplishments. 3 – Improper syntax and grammar.
Focusing on job tasks versus accomplishments, lack of personal branding, and spelling errors are the most common mistakes when writing a resume. A powerful resume describes your accomplishments as a representation of the value you have added, personal branding showcases what is unique about you, and impeccable spelling is always expected.
Common resume mistakes: 1) Typos (get someone to proofread your resume), 2) Length (1 page for most mid- to senior-level jobseekers is too short, while 3 pages is too long, with notable exceptions in academia & technology), 3) Lack of specific measurable data & projects (hiring officials like to see specifics), and 4) failure to address job-specific requirements (read the job ad text carefully).
Most self-authored resumes tend to include a long list of job duties. Instead, a short paragraph describing high level duties followed by up to 5 bulleted accomplishment statements is more powerful. Hiring managers want to know what you can do for them, so sharing actions you took/results delivered to past employers will set you apart from competitors and be a springboard for interview questions.
Aside from the obvious (e.g., grammatical errors, formatting inconsistencies), the most common resume mistake is focusing on the wrong things. A resume is a marketing document. Don’t focus on the minutiae of your day to day work—What are your wins? Accomplishments? How do you stand out? Quantify (results, figures) and contextualize (team size, workplace/industry needs) to highlight your value.
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