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Today, the employment market is more competitive than ever. Most times, you’ll find thousands of people competing for a few slots in the largest companies in the region. At the end of the day, only a few people will be selected from the application process.
As a result, you need to pay attention to the quality of the resume that you send to prospective employers. Whether you like it or not, simple mistakes can disqualify you from the job application process.
When asked to go over their resume, keen job seekers get agitated and feel they already have everything covered. However, this show of overconfidence usually leads to the omission of simple mistakes that go against the instructions of the employer. Sending a resume that is rife with errors will only get you turned down.
You need to understand that making mistakes in a resume is a complete deal-breaker. Many employers have explained that simple mistakes act as deal-breakers that cause them to disqualify the applications of several job seekers. These mistakes may occur in different forms, depending on the scenario affecting the applicant.
To get to the latter stages of any job application, you need to design your resume properly and ensure that it is free from any form of error. While this is not an easy task, it’s achievable with the right help. You also need to be aware of the worst resume mistakes to avoid them completely.
Are you a job seeker who’s interested in learning the most common mistakes to avoid when writing a resume? You’re at the right place. This piece will reveal the biggest resume mistakes that employers look out for.
What Does a Typical Resume Contain?
Before on to the top resume mistakes, let’s take a look at the structure or content of a typical resume. Some of the most common mistakes on a resume can be avoided by paying attention to the structure of your CV. It will also help you organize your information properly and make it simpler for your employer to read.
The typical structure of your resume should consist of:
- Name and contact information;
- Resume summary or objectives;
- Professional History/Working experience;
- Relevant Tools, Skills, or Certificate;
- Additional accomplishments.
Name and Contact Information
The first thing to add to any resume is your name and contact information. This is the section of the resume that informs the employer about your personal details.
In most cases, your contact information should contain your name, phone number, and email address. You may also include a link to your portfolio or a professional website – if it’s relevant to the role you are applying for.
Many resume writers prefer to indicate the name of the applicant at the top of the page, quickly followed by the contact information. This way, an employer can quickly spot these details.
Resume Summary or Objectives
The resume summary should contain brief information about the type of person you are, including what you intend to bring to the job role and what makes you qualified for it. This section should be kept as short as possible, with only relevant information included here. Ensure that you check the job post to determine which soft and hard skills are most relevant for your resume summary.
Depending on the writer of the resume, the resume summary and objectives have slight differences. The summary is designed to describe essential details about your work experience, while the resume objective will tell the employer about your short-term goals.
You may choose to include either or both of them, depending on the job role that you’re applying for. It’s a good idea to include a resume summary only if you have previous work experience.
However, you should include resume objectives if you have recently graduated and do not have any experience to indicate.
Well, the education section of your resume is designed to help you spell out your educational experience and credentials to your employee. This section is useful for employers who are only interested in hiring people with a certain degree, qualification, or level of experience. It’s important to include your most recent and relevant job qualifications. If you have more than one relevant educational experience or degree, you may rank them according to their date of completion.
The education section of your resume should contain details such as:
- Name of the school
- Location of the school
- The degree you’ve obtained
- The course of study
- Date of graduation
- Any relevant honors, certification, recognition, or coursework that was obtained during your education period.
When filling in the details in this section, make sure that you only add educational experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for. For instance, you may not need to mention your high-school education experience after listing your MSc and BSc certifications.
Professional History/Working Experience
This section is where you show your future employer the value that you offer based on similar job experiences that you have had in the past. Here, make sure you create a list of relevant job experiences by starting with the most recent one. It’s a good idea to only focus on the relevant job experience that you have gained for the last 10 – 15 years.
But if you’ve had only a little work experience, you should create a list of everything you have done – relevant or not. Employers can use this information to gauge the type of employee you’ll be. They’ll also be able to determine which soft skills are applicable to your current role.
Your professional history should include the name of your employer, the job role, duration of employment, and a few bullet points to explain your duties and achievements. Make sure that you use strong action verbs to explain your achievements.
Relevant Tools, Skills, or Certificate
The skills section should include relevant hard or soft skills. You may also mention any tools that you have mastered or any certifications that you have earned along the line. It’s important that the skills you mention are relevant to the job you are applying for. Smart job seekers learn some of the skills that employers are looking for through the job post and go-ahead to add them to their resume.
This is where you talk about any relevant additional achievements or volunteer work that you have completed. It’s essential to only include relevant achievements or those that create a better picture of you and show why you would make a good fit for the new role.
Think about things that you may have done outside your professional job history and compile a list of them. Identify the ones relevant to your career and add them to your resume.
Now, you’ve learned all the important sections in a resume. These sections will ensure that any job seeker includes only relevant details in their CV.
What Are The Most Common Resume Mistakes?
Now, let’s review some of the most common mistakes made on a resume. You need to note that mistakes are totally unforgivable when committed on a resume. According to a survey by TopResume in 2018, 70% of employers will turn down a job application due to a simple mistake.
These mistakes are even considered unforgivable when applying for intermediate or expert-level job roles. You need to be able to identify common resume mistakes to avoid getting the best out of the job application process.
So, what are some common resume mistakes? They include;
Adding Vague Employment Dates
Many people don’t realize it is adding vague employment dates is one of the most common mistakes on a resume. These people only indicate the year they gained or changed employment when mentioning the information – without mentioning the exact months. While this may seem like a simple error, it could make an employer immediately assume that something’s wrong with the application.
This information will create a gap in the work experience you are providing, and they’ll simply conclude that you are either being dishonest or hiding something. Many employers will thrash the resume rather than look for answers about what those gaps may be. When listing your employment dates, make sure they are in chronological order. Try to keep your experience as brief as possible too.
Using a Single Resume For Multiple Job Applications
This is one of the most common resume mistakes to avoid, and you’ll find that most job seekers are guilty of it. Whether it’s due to a shortage of time or due to haste, using a single resume for multiple job applications can be likened to shooting yourself in the leg. Why? Because most job roles and job descriptions are different. As a result, you need to tackle them in the way that would best suit each option.
You need to actively work on your resume before every job application to ensure that it contains the necessary skills or knowledge needed for that role. Even when applying to companies in the same industry, it’s recommended that you tweak your resume to suit the culture of your future employer. Any little differences that you make will matter and go a long way
Adding Personal Information
Yes, the employer wants to know about you, but it would be a great error to add too much personal information to your resume. A resume is supposed to be an official document. Therefore, any information included on them has to be relevant to its purpose.
Do not add irrelevances such as your personal beliefs, religious status, marital status, etc. Instead, you should focus on telling the employer why you would make a perfect fit for whatever role you are applying for.
Adding Too Much Text
When writing a resume, you should keep in mind that less information is more appreciated. Don’t go ahead to fill your resume with numerous words hoping to sway your employer. It simply won’t work. Instead, focus on offering quality instead of quantity. When your employer has to read through too many words to understand what you offer, they will lose interest in your application.
Using An Unprofessional Email Address
Here’s another common resume mistake that people make without realizing it. If you currently don’t have a professional email address, it would make a lot of sense for you to get one immediately.
There are several email providers that offer one, and you can get it done in a few minutes. When an unprofessional email address is added to a resume, it creates an impression that you are lazy and not ready to put in the amount of effort required to get the job.
Adding Numerous Irrelevant Work Experience
You need to note that an employer has less than 10 seconds to review the contents of your resume. This is not a long period of time.
Therefore, you need to make a lasting impression as quickly as you can. While it’s a great idea to have a well-written work experience section, you should be careful about what you include here. Make sure that you avoid adding too many irrelevant details here, or employers will rule you out as unqualified.
Making Unverifiable Claims
When compiling your resume, it’s essential that all the information you put up about yourself is verifiable and accurate. If you are bragging about your sales or marketing capabilities, you may add some statistics to prove your claim.
Also, never make up any piece of information before adding to your resume.
Adding Irrelevant Social Media Profiles
There may be some job applications that request your social media profile. Before applying for any job role, make sure to check through your social media profiles and adjust them to suit your professional career. You are free to leave out any social media profiles that do not correlate with the job role you are seeking for.
Using Outdated Contact Information
Outdated contact information is another serious mistake that job seekers frequently repeat. Before sending your resume, make sure that you verify that your contact details are up-to-date and working properly.
Finally, we’ve come to the end of this piece. We’ve taken a look at the important sections to include in your resume, along with the most common mistakes to avoid during the process. It’s quite clear that simple mistakes can eliminate you from a job application process. As soon as you submit your application, there won’t be a chance to correct any errors.
What are the top 5 resume mistakes?
There are several mistakes that a person can make when compiling a resume. They include; spelling and grammar errors, adding too much personal information, adding too much text, using irrelevant work experience, and adding vague employment dates.
What are the 4 common resume mistakes?
Some of the most common resume mistakes include; using a single resume for multiple job applications, adding too many personal details, using an unprofessional email, and adding outdated contact information.
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