Your resume/CV, combined with a LinkedIn profile, is your best introduction to someone who could be a key influencer in your career transition and advancement…avoid resume errors.
Here are 13 resume errors to avoid in order to attract the maximum intrigue and impact.
1. Stating Your Age
A hiring authority has no right to know your age due to various country-based statutes and anti-discrimination legislation. So, that’s why this is a top resume error.
2. Unprofessional Email
There is no excuse to have an email address that doesn’t epitomize your professionalism. Some emails have been highly embarrassing and instantly make me question that person’s professionalism. It’s so easy today to set up a professional email address using the free services providers (primarily Gmail) within a few minutes.
If you must have numbers in your email, don’t use your year of birth.
3. Personal Pronouns
It’s too common to see the words “I”, “my”, “her” or “she” on a resume…this is a resume error. Leave them out, there is no place for them in a resume/CV.
4. Graphics, Charts, Headers/Footers and Photographs
A resume is rarely read by human eyes these days. It is scanned into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) where it is processed. Any graphic, chart or photograph within the body of the resume distorts the application’s programming and interferes with the elements required to search for your talent. Therefore, your resume will be bypassed even though you may be the perfect candidate.
The ATS will not recognize text within a header or footer of the document. If your name and address are in a header, they will not be read.
5. Poor Grammar and Spelling
There are no excuses today for typos now that spell-check exists. Even so, you should always have your resume reviewed by colleagues, friends, or family. One mistake can raise a red flag and create doubt about your attention to detail, time management, and even your interest in the position.
6. Font Selection
MS Word offers you a choice of so many fonts. You should take your choice of font seriously. Avoid Times New Roman and other sans serif fonts as out-dated. However, you should also steer clear of the script or fancy style fonts. Theses are difficult for the human eye to read, but even more difficult for the ATS scanning.
You have just a few seconds to impress. Select an easy to read, standard font such as Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Helvetica, or Georgia.
7. Incorrect Tenses
Show your current employer in the present tense and the rest in the past tense. If you have not worked for a while, use the past tenses. Don’t mix up tenses as this causes confusion, and again shows your lack of attention to detail…a big resume error.
Leave your reference list for later. You will be asked for references as you advance in the recruitment process. Also, avoid writing “References Available on Request” in the resume. It’s a waste of space and dates you by over a decade!
9. Hobbies, Interests and Family
A resume is a business document. A career decision-maker is not interested in your personal life and what you do outside of work hours, although, work-life balance is encouraged. Eliminate personal details such as your marital status, number of children.
There are some exceptions. One client had climbed Mt Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro, and other high peaks. Another had placed in the Top 100 of the London, New York, Chicago, Miami marathons. These accomplishments demostrate some very positive traits.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself from the start and damage your negotiating position. You don’t need to address the sensitive topic of your current or future salary intentions from the beginning recruitment stages.
11. Reasons for Leaving Past Employers.
Too many people highlight the reasons for leaving their previous employers. You do not need to include reasons, especially if you have been fired. At an interview, you may be asked about the reason for leaving a past employer; you can address it then.
12. Failing to List Your Performances, Accomplishments
We are in a performance-driven society where your record of delivering accomplishments is essential to you being hired. A career decision-maker isn’t interested in your responsibilities, apart from the number of direct and indirect staff managed, CapEx and OpEx budgets, and P&L.
Failure to have numerous accomplishments in the resume will count you out!
13. Ineffective and Weak Personal Brand
What is your personal brand? Have you defined your personal brand? So many people don’t have a clue as to what their unique promise of value is, their differentiator. If I was in a hiring position, why should I choose you over other candidates?
Craft and articulate your personal brand in your resume, LinkedIn profile, e-mail signature and other social media accounts.
Formatting or content errors will decrease your chances of being called for an interview. Why mess it up because you are unaware how to write a resume? This is a skill.