Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Handing over resume

How do you sum up the value you bring to a potential employer in one or two pages? Your resume is the primary marketing piece of your personal brand. Ideally, this document will help you stand out as an applicant and get companies clamoring to hire you, and there is no room for error. Unfortunately, there are a few common mistakes that even the most educated, highly qualified executives make on their CVs. These easily avoided resume missteps can instantly cast a shadow over one’s achievements and skills.  Make sure that your resume doesn’t include any of the following:

  1. Failing to specify contract jobs – Be sure to denote contract positions.  Having many short-tenured positions may create negative assumptions on the part of a hiring manager reviewing your resume.  If a position was on contract, be sure to state that it was a contract position next to the Start/End dates.
  2. Listing each role within one company as a separate job – It is common to list each job title within a company separately as if it were a different company.  At first glance, it appears that you are hopping around.  If you have held several roles within a company, list the company with the start/end dates of your entire tenure with them.  List each job title, dates, and duties/accomplishments indented below. 
  3. Spelling/Grammar – Missing a spelling or grammatical error is easy.  Avoid anyone doubting your attention to detail by reviewing your resume with a fine-tooth comb and then asking someone to do the same on your behalf.  A second and third set of eyes can be helpful to spot errors you may miss as an author.  Even the most skilled writers go through the proofreading process.
  4. Photo on a resume – Unless you are looking for an acting or modeling position, do not include a photo on your resume.  Many hiring managers will automatically throw out resumes with photos to avoid any discrimination complaints and some companies even have policies prohibiting accepting resumes with photos.  You want a company to be reviewing your skills and accomplishments, not what you look like.
  5. Verbalizing your value proposition – Why should someone hire you over the next person?  Your personal value statement must demonstrate to a hiring manager that you possess the skills and attributes they are seeking.  Make it easy for them to see how your experience relates directly to the role they are looking to fill.

A resume is never “done” but is a fluid document that will be tweaked and fine-tuned for different positions, reflecting new skills and experience.  The key is to continue getting feedback from friends and colleagues to ensure it accurately represents the amazing skills and experience you have to offer.

If you would like professional help writing your resume, consider reaching out to us.