Real-Life Resume Mistakes To Avoid

Published: Feb 20, 2014

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February 20, 2014

Want to know what turns off hiring managers? Here are three deadly but often-made resume mistakes to avoid.

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

One of the advantages of hiring a professional resume writer is simply a matter of perspective. After reviewing numerous resumes over the years and working in HR, we have a different sense of what works and what doesn't. Here are some issues I’ve encountered in reviewing real-life resumes lately. Hopefully, you can learn from these mistakes!

1. Present your information succinctly.

Many of the ineffective resumes I see are four or five pages long. Unless you’re in a profession like academia that requires a bona fide CV, the chances of a hiring manager reading all four pages of your resume are really close to zero. If you can’t fit all of your past experience onto two pages, start examining your experience critically. Is your entry-level job from 25 years ago really relevant at this point?

2. Don't repeat job descriptions.

I recently saw a resume from a male job applicant who had held numerous positions of a similar nature. Rather than explaining what made each position unique or interesting, the candidate literally repeated the exact same job description six times in the same resume. Although the candidate’s experience showed that he was not a lazy individual, his resume gave the impression that he couldn’t be bothered to write a unique summary of his accomplishments at each of his positions.

3. Use formatting correctly.

Using formatting such as bullets and section dividers on your resume looks great—as long as you actually know how to do it. If you’re unsure of how to include these elements, read up in the help section of Word, check out a book like “Microsoft Word for Dummies,” or ask a friend to help you. Using these elements in a haphazard way can have the unwanted effect of making your computer skills look poor, when in reality maybe creating bulleted sections just isn’t your forte.

The hiring industry has changed dramatically in just the last five to 10 years. We strongly encourage you to have several other people review your resume before you begin submitting it.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, expert resume writer, is a nationally-recognized resume authority and former HR Manager who has achieved over a 99% success rate securing interviews with prestigious organizations through exclusive, personal branding strategies. The President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast, she and her team partner with professional- and executive-level candidates.

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