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9 Common Resume Mistakes That Can Kill Your Credibility

9 Common Resume Mistakes That Can Kill Your Credibility

Establishing your credibility and professionalism can be key to landing a great job. Even if you’re qualified for the jobs you’re applying for, making a wrong first impression can hinder your chances. Submitting a flawed resume will make you look unprofessional and uninterested, regardless of your skills.

Common resume mistakes that can kill your credibility

When it comes to crafting a resume, avoiding common mistakes is crucial to making a positive impression on potential employers. Here are some of the most common resume mistakes that can significantly impact your credibility as a candidate:

1. Not tailoring your resume to the job

Especially when applying for many jobs, you may be using the same resume for every application. But this mistake might be why your resume never makes it to the recruiter. Most resumes go through an applicant tracking software that searches them for the desired keywords. If you don’t include these, the software will reject your resume, even if you are qualified. To avoid this, tailor your resume for each application. When adding keywords, focus on both the job requirements and the company values.

2. Not providing quantifiable achievements

When crafting a resume, it’s important to showcase your accomplishments in a measurable way. Instead of just listing responsibilities, consider including specific metrics or numbers to highlight the impact of your work.

For example, rather than saying “Increased sales,” you could say “Increased sales by 30% in the first quarter.”

This provides concrete evidence of your contributions and helps potential employers understand the scope of your achievements.

3. Grammatical and spelling errors

Although proofreading your resume may seem obvious, grammatical errors are one of the most common resume mistakes. Having somebody else proofread your resume can help to cut the mistakes that you did not notice. Additionally, to uncover errors that spell check didn’t find, try using a tool like Grammarly. This will highlight not only spelling but also syntax and contextual mistakes.

4. Too many business buzzwords

Using keywords in your resume is vital to get past the applicant tracking software. But, avoid overstuffing your resume with keywords and buzzwords. This will sound forced and unnatural and make the resume hard to read. Instead, use these words only where they make sense. If you’re not sure whether you have overused a word, have someone else read over your resume and look for any terms that stand out.

5. Poor organization and clarity

Your resume should be neat, clean, and simple to read. In short, less is more. A spacious design with enough white space will make it easy for the recruiter to skim your resume for information. Make sure to differentiate the sections on your resume and use bullet points to describe your job responsibilities. The reader should be able to get to know your professional path in only a few seconds.

6. Including obvious skills

While you may be proficient in software like Word or Excel, these skills are no longer as valuable. In fact, most hiring managers assume that all applicants have these basic computer skills. So instead of including them, use the resume space to highlight unique skills like coding or graphic design. These will make you stand out and appeal to the hiring managers.

7. Lying on a resume

It may be tempting to exaggerate your qualifications to stand out more, but this common resume mistake can cost you the job. In most cases, the hiring manager or the employer will sooner or later discover your lie. This will make you appear unprofessional, taint your reputation, or even get you fired. Hiring managers are proficient at detecting common lies. These include applicants’ education, skills, employment dates, job titles, and experience. Apart from these, if your resume doesn’t match your cover letter or LinkedIn profile, it may seem like you are hiding something.

8. Your resume is too lengthy or too short

Your resume should be at most two pages long. Your resume should not be longer than two pages unless you are applying for a position in the academic or research field. To achieve this, focus on highlighting only the most critical information and achievements. It is irrelevant to include more than 10-15 years of work experience. Use bullet points to present your most significant achievements in each position. Also, make sure to remove outdated information like marital status, age, or hobbies.

9. Failing to include a cover letter

Well-crafted cover letter allows you to address any potential concerns or gaps in your resume, such as career changes or employment gaps. It’s your chance to tell your story and showcase your personality in a way that a resume alone cannot accomplish. When crafting a cover letter, it’s essential to tailor it to the specific job and company you’re applying to. Use the cover letter to explain why you’re interested in the position, how your skills and experience align with the job requirements, and why you are enthusiastic about the company.

How to avoid common resume mistakes

To avoid getting screened out, make sure you check your resume for these 9 common resume mistakes. Proofread and edit your resume to catch any errors and spelling mistakes. It is often hard for the writer to see his own mistakes. So, try to read your resume from the bottom up or from the last page to the first. Even better, ask a friend to read your resume. They might point out syntax, clarity, or contextual errors you did not notice.

Finally, use online tools to perfect your resume alongside Word’s spell checker. Tools like Grammarly or Editorr proofread and check your documents for grammar errors, typos, and syntax mistakes. While some errors can be pardoned, these nine mistakes are considered deal-breakers by many recruiters.


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