The 5 Scariest Resume Mistakes We’ve Ever Seen

The 5 Scariest Resume Mistakes We've Ever Seen

As a recruiting company, we see a lot of resumes come across our desks. No matter how experienced a candidate is, we have seen some truly frightening mistakes. Have you fallen victim to these common resume trip-ups?

Lack Of Personality

When applying for a job, many people end up using dozens of cliché resume words like “motivated, responsible, team player…” etc. These tend to just make the hiring managers roll their eyes and are seen as “fluff.” Instead, use action words paired with results. For example: “Implemented a newsletter campaign that reached 40,000 customers per month.”

While a robot makes a great Halloween costume, it’s not a great look for your resume. In an effort to portray yourself as professional on paper, it’s easy to come across as robotic. Make sure to insert a little personality here and there so the reader can get a sense of who you actually are.

No Proofreading!

Understand your flaws so you can catch them right away. I know I have a problem using consistent verb tenses, so this is the first thing that I always check on my documents!

Use the buddy system (for trick or treating AND proofreading!) Have a friend/colleague/mentor review your resume. Have them check not only for typos but also formatting and clarity.

Too Long

Your resume does not have to chronicle your entire work history! Try to stick with the most relevant skills and experiences (or you’ll bore your reader to death.) Keep the focus on what matters most and cut everything else. Try to keep it on one page, two pages max if you have a significant amount of related experience.

No Keywords

This resume mistake might actually be the scariest – because it makes your resume virtually invisible to hiring managers (especially if you’re submitting it through an online portal!) Be sure to include all of the keywords listed on the job description and then some. (Pro tip: if you list any certifications or other abbreviations, include the abbreviated version AND the long-hand version. Ex: Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Not Customizing

This one makes recruiters (and marketing professionals like myself) scream with terror. When you are viewing a job description, you are given a golden ticket full of every detail you need to create a perfect resume. Mimic the verbiage and style of each job description to highlight how qualified you are. I know it sounds like a pain, but do you want a quick job application with no interview or a more labor-intensive process that leads to landing your dream job?