May 25, 2022

We all know that resumes are the key to getting employed. A quality resume will enable you to get your foot in the door for that valuable job interview, which gives you a chance to further sell your experiences and how you will fit within an organization. However, making mistakes on your resume can ruin your chances. After all, you want to stand out and not go into the rejection pile. Here are some common resume mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Focusing on Your Job Responsibilities

One of the most common resume mistakes people make is using the valuable space to highlight their job responsibilities. However, this is not what will get you noticed by an employer. Instead of documenting your roles, you need to use this space to highlight your achievements.

You should describe how you excelled in this role. Things that can be quantified are particularly useful to mention. Discuss how you improved an organization rather than simply stating your responsibilities. These are the things that will truly stand out to employers. After all, every applicant with a similar position will have similar responsibilities, but your achievements are unique.

2. Using an Objective

Traditionally, resumes have included an objective statement; however, this practice hasn’t been common for over a decade. After all, the objective of the resume is very clear: to land a specific job. Thus, the objective statement that used to be recommended is redundant and a waste of space. If you have an objective statement on your resume, you should remove it.

In its place, put a professional profile, which is a short section that highlights your major expertise and skills. This provides a concise summary of the core assets that you will bring to an organization. It should give a potential employer a quick summary of what you bring to their team.

3. Using Unrelated Experiences

One of the biggest resume mistakes people make is filling their resume with completely unrelated experiences to the job they are applying for. In many cases, this occurs due to people using only one resume when job hunting. Resumes should be tailored to the job you are applying for. This doesn’t mean you need a unique resume for every role, but you should at least have different resumes for different types of roles.

Before sending in your resume, be sure to give it a look over and ask yourself if the experiences on your resume are directly related to the job responsibilities of the role you are applying for. If they aren’t, use that valuable space to tailor your skills and experiences to the job. Doing this will make you much more marketable.

4. Grammatical and Formatting Errors

Regardless of the role you are applying for, attention to detail and accuracy are important competencies to have. A resume with grammatical or formatting errors can quickly land you in the reject pile. Be sure to carefully read through your resume to catch spelling mistakes that spell check may have missed.

In terms of formatting, make sure you are using acceptable fonts. It’s good to use a widely recognized one such as Arial or Times New Roman. Additionally, stick with black ink and avoid bright colors and graphics, as these can distract from the written content you are trying to get across.

5. Using an Unprofessional E-mail Address

This is a quick way to get looked over and a huge resume mistake many people have made. Your e-mail address conveys a message about you, and that message should be that you are professional. Is your e-mail address unprofessional? If you find yourself wondering, the answer is probably yes.

An easy remedy is to create a separate e-mail address that you will use for professional communications. Get a free address from a provider like Gmail and use your name as your e-mail. Combinations of your last name and initials are typically good to use. If you have a common name, you may need to add a number at the end.

6. Exaggerating the Truth

You may have heard people say it’s ok to exaggerate a bit on resumes; however, this is a mistake. Outright falsehoods are easy to verify. However, exaggerating can get you into trouble in a number of ways.

First, large exaggerations typically reveal themselves during an interview or reference checks. Second, exaggerations may lead you to land a job you aren’t well qualified for, leading to poor performance that can hurt you.

Final Thoughts

If you are finding yourself having difficulty securing interviews, it’s a good idea to look at your resume for these common resume mistakes. Additionally, it’s always helpful to have an extra set of eyes take a look, as other people may notice things that you miss. Happy job searching!

At Achēv, our Employment Ontario Services offers a wide range of resources to support your career and employment needs. Our employment centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area, including Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga and North York. Contact us today to register for our free employment services.

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