6 resume mistakes that can cost you the job
Recruiters and hiring managers only spend an avererage of 10 seconds skimming resumes. Your resume, therefore, needs to make a good impression, and mistakes (like a careless typo or formatting issue) can really hurt your chances.
To help you spot potential issues, we had Aimee Rieck, Workopolis’ senior manager of human resources, review real resumes.
Here are her six resume mistakes that can cost you the job.
Not proofreading your resume
It might not seem like a big deal, but typos and grammar mistakes can instantly eliminate you from the running.
“It shows that you’re sloppy and not detail oriented,” Rieck says, adding that you should also keep an eye on verb tenses. “You need to be consistent. If you’re using past tense to describe your past positions don’t suddenly switch to present tense in another bullet.”
Giving TMI (too much information)
Gender, date of birth, nationality, and marital status do not need to be included in your resume. If you do include this info, it can leave the door open for possible discrimination.
“Any information that’s protected under the Human Rights Code does not need to be included,” Rieck says. “While the protected grounds may differ from province to province, the main ones usually covered are race, nationality, ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, and marital status.”
Listing employment dates without months
Want a trick to help you get noticed? Make things easy on the recruiter.
“If a resume only has the years of employment listed, I don’t know how long they held this position. It could have been three months or a year, which is a very different time frame,” Rieck says.
To avoid annoying the hiring manager, she suggests including months of employment in your work history. You can also take it a step further by adding how long you worked there.
Listing job duties (and nothing else)
If you’re just providing a laundry list of responsibilities and duties, recruiters are most likely zoning out on your resume. It’s much more persuasive to instead give examples of accomplishments.
“You want to get away from writing your resume as though it’s a job description; it’s not. I’m more interested in accomplishments within the role. Did you save the company money? Were you able to make processes more efficient? Did you exceed sales target by a certain percentage? These are the kinds of things that your work experience should be highlighting for recruiters,” Rieck says.
Making your resume too long
Let’s put it simply: No recruiter is going to read a four-page resume. So, how do you keep things concise? Start by avoiding repetition in different sections; limiting work history to the most relevant or recent; and only listing appropriate training.
“Starting off with a profile summary is great too because it gives me a quick snapshot of your core competencies and achievements. I can quickly decide if you could be a potential candidate for the job,” Rieck says.
Failing to tailor your resume
Yes, it’s more work, but when you tailor your resume to the job description, you increase the odds in your favour.
“A resume needs to have a purpose. It should tell the recruiter why you are a good fit for the position and what skills you can bring to the team – and you can best do this by making sure the resume was geared to that particular job,” Rieck says.