1. Cookie cutter format. Employers won’t call if your resume is too generic. It needs to showcase you as the unique person you are, with exceptional skills and talents that position you as the best candidate for their job opening. Marketing 101 tells us that it is important to stand out from the crowd versus blending in with them.
2. Lack of accomplishments. Employers want to see what results you delivered, and how you did it. Listing only duties and responsibilities will not convey the full story or set you apart from your competition.
3. Bulky dense paragraphs. I’ve said this before, initially a hiring manager will only give the resume a 10-second glance. If your content is contained in clear and concise bullets, the reader has a better chance of grasping important information quickly. However, bullet points are used on a resume to clearly showcase important information. If your resume contains too many bullet points, none of the information included on the resume is then important.
4. Incorrect order of content. Think of your resume as prime real estate – it’s all about location. A brief profile area that highlights your strengths, followed by experience and education will help the hiring manager to get an overview of who you are and what you can do. The rest of the resume supports these highlights.
5. No dates of employment. A resume without dates of employment raises red flags for hiring managers – thinking the job seeker is hiding inconsistencies or periods of unemployment. However, should your work history be “spotty” a professional resume writer will know exactly what to do to make your employment dates less noteworthy.
6. Not using space wisely. What’s most important for the reader to know about you that would influence him/her to call you for an interview? With limited space on a resume, don’t get too caught up in describing your company, size, or products (depending on the nature of your business of course). Keep the focus on you and your value to the potential employer.
7. Too vague. Be as specific as possible when describing achievements. Percentages, revenues, and concrete results help the hiring manager see the breadth and width of your capabilities and stretch beyond your job scope.
8. Too much information. I know, I know, you don’t want to leave anything out that might be important to a hiring manager. However, too much information creates the “eyes glazed over” effect with readers. Focus on what’s most important. The interview can flush out additional details.
9. Unnecessary information. While you may think it is helpful to list your age, children, hobbies and such, the employers really don’t care about these details on your resume. In fact, in some cases, this information can be prejudicial against you.
Save your resume from being round-filed or left unread by giving your attention to the items listed above.