THE TOP 10 MOST COMMON RESUME / CV MISTAKES

 

Resume readers tend to have very little patience, and will sooner reject your application than consider calling you for answers. Here's a list of the most common resume writing and CV mistakes found on many applications. 

1.       Resume is too long or too short –you won't win any prizes for writing “War and Peace”, nor will you gain any extra points for trying to write your entire career history on a postage stamp.  

2.       Too "fluffy" – "conscientious”, “dedicated” or "good communicator” are great words but most companies will expect you to substantiate your claims with skills and corresponding competencies to match. 

3.       No value add – if your resume appears similar in skill set to that of 20 or 30 other applicants, there's a good chance you'll go on the "maybe pile" and never actually get a call. Your resume needs to scream out to the reader, offering something others simply don’t have.  

4.       No focus – listing everything will cloud a resume. Is the employer looking for a “one glove fits all”, or do they want someone with focus? We can tell you now...it's focus. 

5.       Visually unappealing – how your resume looks is as important as the words it contains. That's why you should be careful with the appearance of your resume. As many as a quarter of candidates with otherwise excellent resumes ruin their chances with bad layout.  

6.       Grammar mistakes and typos – a rushed document can be spotted a mile away, and it’s even easier to spot poor grammar and multiple typo's. 

7.       Irrelevant data – we can all be proud of our extra curriculum activities, but sometimes these can work against you.  Ensure that any additional activities have some direct relevance to your career, for example "trained in responsible serving of alcohol" isn't so relevant if it was 20 years ago and you're now looking for a CEO position! 

8.       A picture can say a thousand words - these days it's not always necessary to have your picture on your resume, however if one is required, ensure that it has a "professional image". 

9.       Password protection - if you feel it's truly necessary to password protect your document, then only protect changes to the document, don't leave them trying to guess how to open your resume in the first place. 

9.       Web based resumes - employers like to collate all resumes before reading them and prefer to read from a standard format i.e. Word or .PDF. Although on-line resumes are great interactive pieces of work, avoid using unless it's as a link to showcase a portfolio.