Rookie Resume Mistakes You Should Avoid At Any Cost

  | Adela Belin

In the modern corporate world, resume writing has become an exquisite craft. A craft that must be done with finesse and perfection. Hiring managers have tonnes of resumes piling over their desks, and just a single mistake is generally enough for them to throw your resume over to the bin. Their attention span is at an all-time low.  For this reason, your resume should be crafted with perfection to sail over to the other side and land you an interview.

Since resume writing is individualistic and depends on your personality, there are no right ways to write a resume. But, there are wrong ones. And most resume writers make the same mistakes, making it all the more easy for hiring managers to reject them.

If you are a newbie at writing resumes, here is a list of rookie mistakes that you should avoid at any cost!

1. Forcing Keywords

If you are thinking about writing your resume based on the type of resumes that used to be written earlier -- forget about it! It is never going to work out like that. Earlier, professionals used to stuff in keywords and cram information in their resumes, and get away with it. Now that the times have changed hiring managers can easily spot template writing from authentic one. Phrases like “extensive experience,” and “expertly trained” are an absolute no-no! Think about it: how many times have you used these phrases in your everyday life? Probably, never. Then why use it on your resume?

Write how you sound like. Never use industry keywords. Your hiring managers are too smart for that. They know what you are trying to do there. And be more specific. For example, instead of “extensive experience” you should, in a sentence, tell what experience you have. What role did you play in your company, for how long, and what all did you accomplish there? Just make sure you put all of together in a brisk manner.

2. Being generic

While writing a resume, you should remember that you are in direct competition with thousands of applicants for this role. To ensure that you land an interview, your resume should stand out from the crowd. What most newbie resume writers do is, write generic information that they think might work well with the hiring managers. Not realizing that everyone else is doing the same thing too.

For example, if you are looking for an IT job, you tend to mention everything in your accomplishments and experience that is related to IT. Just like everyone else. How, then, will you be differentiated?

In the same example, what if, apart from your IT skills and abilities, you also talked about your managerial prowess. You can talk about how you may have been the head boy in your university, and how leading a team comes naturally to you.

This extra bit of information will instantly differentiate you from the rest, and you would have successfully grabbed the hiring manager’s attention.

3. Mentioning irrelevant accomplishments

This is an extension of the second point. Just because you should write your accomplishments that may differentiate you from the crowd, doesn’t mean you can go about mentioning every accomplishment you have ever had. I have worked as a consulting manager myself for a few good years, and one of the most common mistakes I saw there were people mentioning irrelevant accomplishments.

In the previous example, your managerial abilities are still relevant to the job. A hiring manager will always prefer a team-man over a mere geeky nerd. But, in the same example, if you go about mentioning how you stood first in a music competition at the university, it will add no value to your resume and is a waste of valuable space. Reading irrelevant accomplishments is an instant turnoff for most managers, and they don’t even bother reading any further.

4. Mentioning personal stuff

Mentioning personal stuff in the resume is another very common mistake. And, personally, I consider it the worst one. Personal stuff includes everything that does not directly help you get the job. And some people need this reminder: it is a resume, not your personal diary. No one wants to know about your hobbies if they are not directly related to the job. While you’re at it, skip the “tastes and preferences” routine too. It helps no one.

5. Grammatic errors

The most obvious, and a brutally common mistake. Reading bad grammar is an inherent turn-off for every working professional, most of all if it is a professional document. Your resume is your professional image. Make sure that it is impeccable. There are no excuses for bad grammar. Even a slight spelling mistake can land your resume in the bin.


Finally, your resume should be a true and apt representation of yourself. If it is created craftily and authentically, and if your personality in the interview phase is consistent with your resume, you will most probably get the job.

Authors Bio: Adela Belin is a private educator and a writer at Writers Per Hour. She shares her teaching experience with colleagues, students, and writers. Feel free to contact Adela on G+.

Photo by Green Chameleon

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