You sent so many job applications, yet your resume isn’t getting any interviews. It’s frustrating when it seems like you have exhausted all your efforts only to reach a dead end. It’s not that you’re unqualified because, in fact, you have what it takes to fit the job description. But did you stop and think if you’ve overlooked some resume mistakes? And do you know what a resume’s main purpose is?
These resume mistakes can range from typos and formatting issues to more serious problems like lacking focus or failing to highlight key accomplishments. In this article, you’ll explore the seven worst mistakes to avoid when creating your resume. By dodging these pitfalls, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a strong, effective document that showcases your strengths to help you stand out from the competition.
Since the digital age is transforming the job application process, there will be tips on how to AI-proof your resume as a bonus.
7 Common Resume Mistakes
Your resume is the most critical document you can present to potential employers. It serves as a summary of your professional experiences, skills, and education. However, even the most qualified candidates can fall short if their resume contains errors.
Don’t worry. It happens. But the greatest thing about mistakes is you can learn to stay away from them. So here are common resume mistakes to avoid:
Typos and grammatical errors
Even a single typo or grammatical error can give the impression that you’re careless or sloppy, which is the last thing you want to show on your resume. Take the time to proofread your document carefully, or consider asking a friend or family member to review it for you. Better yet, run your document to an AI-powered resume scanner to ensure your resume is up to standard company protocols.
Lack of focus
A common resume mistake is to include too much information on your resume, resulting in a cluttered, disorganized document. Instead, focus on the most relevant experiences and skills that align with the job you’re applying for. This will show your employer that you have keen sight for details, which gives you extra hiring points.
Skipping important information
You don’t want to leave out important information that could set you apart from other candidates. Make sure to include your education, compatible job experience, skills, and any professional certifications or awards you’ve received. For example, you had job experience as an in-person marketer, and now you want to apply for an online marketing specialist role. It’s imperative to add it to your resume, even if the nature of the job description may seem different on the surface. After all, you can translate your in-person marketing skills to your new online job.
Using an outdated format
While there are many different styles and formats for resumes, it’s important to use one that is current and looks professional. Avoid using overly creative or flashy templates, as they can be distracting and make it difficult for hiring managers to find the necessary information. Futura, Lucida Console, and impact are a few examples of font styles you shouldn’t use on your resume. However, do use Arial, Calibri, and Garamond since they’re more unique and easy to read.
Being too vague
A resume should provide specific examples of your accomplishments and responsibilities rather than just listing your job duties. Use concrete figures, such as how much you increased sales or how many people you managed, to show the impact of your work.
Using jargon or industry-specific language
One of the most common resume mistakes to avoid is using technical terms. While using industry-specific language to show your expertise is important, your hiring manager might not even understand them. So keep your words clear and simple, and aim for a balance between technical language and general terms.
Including personal information
Never state personal details on your resume apart from your phone number, email and mailing address, and complete name. Instead, focus on your professional experiences and qualifications that’s connected to the role. Avoid including information such as your age, marital status, or political beliefs, as these are not relevant to your job prospects.
The key to avoiding common resume mistakes is to take the time to carefully review your document before submitting it. Make sure it’s well-organized, focused, and free of errors, and consider asking for feedback from a trusted friend or mentor. Then, with a polished, professional resume, you’ll have a better chance to make a strong impression on potential employers.
How to write a winning AI-proof resume
Employers go through at least 250 resumes per corporate job listing. That eats up a lot of their energy, so recently, they started using AI to save time and lessen hiring biases.
The algorithm in AI scans your resume for specific words or phrases in your work history, skills, and accomplishments to identify if you match a company’s job description. So when it comes to writing your resume, here are ways to ensure that it looks well for hiring managers and artificial intelligence:
Use a clear, easy-to-read layout
When creating your resume, use a simple, clean layout that is easy to scan and navigate. Avoid using too many fonts, colors, or graphics, as these can make it difficult for humans and AI systems to read and interpret your document.
Use relevant keywords
Many companies use AI systems to scan resumes for specific keywords that match the job’s requirements. So make sure to mirror relevant keywords from the job posting in your resume, but don’t stuff your document with unnecessary or unrelated words. For instance, you worked as an English as a second language trainer. Including it in your resume will be irrelevant if you’re applying to be a real estate agent.
Focus on your achievements
Instead of just listing your job duties, highlight your accomplishments and the impact of your work. Use specific examples and figures to show the value you bring to an organization, such as how much you increased team productivity or how many people you managed from your previous job.
Use bullet points
AI systems can scan and interpret bullet points more easily. So place the job requirements that match your qualifications first, followed by notable accomplishments on the lower end. Avoid using long paragraphs because they are harder to read, and robots may not process them accurately.
Don’t exaggerate or lie
It’s important to be honest on your resume, as any discrepancies or false information can come back to haunt you when it’s time for an interview. So stick to the facts. Don’t magnify your accomplishments or responsibilities since employers have gone through training to spot a lie on resumes.
Curate your resume for humans and AI
Many companies are using AI scans to read resumes because it allows them to save resources and reduce unfair decisions. So learning these common resume mistakes to avoid is essential regardless if your employer uses AI in their hiring process. You’ll have a higher chance of receiving a job interview by highlighting your achievements, using relevant keywords, and presenting your information in an easy-to-read format.
An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for an imperfectly zero-waste and minimalist lifestyle. She enjoys writing about leisure, traveling, self-help, or any topic that resonates with her belief.