5 Biggest Errors on Your Résumé

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Like many things in life, résumé-writing is something that’s easy to do but hard to master. While a great résumé may earn you a callback from a recruiter or hiring manager, one loaded with errors will surely sink your chances of landing a dream job. With that in mind, here are five of the biggest (and most common) mistakes that find their way into folks’ CVs:

Too Vague

Although space is at a premium when it comes to résumé-writing—you should always do your best to compress your experience into a page, if possible—you do yourself no favors by rendering your accomplishments too unclear or ill-defined. You should never say, for example, that you just “built software” for a particular company. Instead, spend a couple words explaining what exactly you did: “Built a mobile app that led to substantial revenue increases,” for example. Which leads us to the next point:

Didn’t Show Impact

A lot of résumés dump a lot of information onto the page. When you do that, you risk the recruiter or hiring manger skimming and discarding your materials; they often don’t have time to pick through every line, trying to determine what’s important and what’s not. Help them out by narrowing down your accomplishments to those that had the most impact on your organization, and explaining that impact. Did your projects lead to increases in efficiency and revenue? Did you launch something that ranked highly in an app store? Be sure to highlight your effectiveness.

Getting Squiggly with the Truth

Job candidates know they’re facing a crowded marketplace, and that leads to a temptation to exaggerate key details on their résumés. When writing your own materials, keep everything as straightforward and honest as possible: recruiters do their own research in addition to reading résumés, and chances are good they’ll figure out the truth behind any overstatements. And even if your inflated résumé gets you through the hiring process, your new colleagues may discover that you’re not everything you said on paper.

Disregarding Keywords

It’s a fact of life that companies and recruiters rely on keywords and specialized software in order to isolate résumés from the pile. Make sure you use the keywords associated with a particular job; it will increase your visibility. (At the same time, however, make sure your résumé isn’t a mish-mash of buzzwords; that may end up harming your chances.)

Trying to Be Funny

Humor has its place in professional life. But it doesn’t belong on your résumé. Save the cute phrases, puns, and in-jokes for your social-networking profiles.

3 Responses to “5 Biggest Errors on Your Résumé”

  1. Lance D. Montgomery

    I live about 25 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas. My question is , do you have any estimates for jobs such as the CCNA and the CCNP certifications needed, within 50 moles, of this area in future years? Do you have any estimates as to the salaries paid for these Certifications ?.

    Can you give me some description of the skils needed and the working environments?

  2. In fact, this is article is very vague. Often, recruiter does not know anything other than the skill names. They don’t know how skills go together and become a hinder in the whole recruitment process.

  3. Frustrated

    Absolutely every single recruiter I have met with in the last several months wants to have the resume formatted ” their way “. There should be some type of Standard for information on resumes given the selected profession.

    One for programmers, System Admins / Engineers, Network Admins etc… This would also keep employers honest because more times then not, they add in ” extras ” that were not necessarily in the job description.

    I seriously want to get all NWA up in here even though I am white. It has become such a ridiculous process its hanging by a thread ready to snap.

    Like the guy said in the big Lambowski, F*** it dude, let’s go bowling.