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10 Resume Mistakes To Avoid When Applying for a Job

Published November 16, 2021 by Christopher Leonard, President, Agronomix Software Inc.

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Have you applied for several jobs over the past few months with no end sight? You’d think your commitment to your chosen career would net a quick job, but it’s not doing you any favors. The truth is It might not be you or your skills, but your resume.

Even with the best credentials, mistakes in your resume can be detrimental to getting hired. Even some of the most consummate pros can make mistakes, but you need to make sure you have it squeaky clean. Here are 10 resume mistakes to avoid when applying for a job.

1. Spelling and Grammar Errors

Let’s start with the most obvious issue: spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. You’ll be shocked by how many spelling mistakes you can find even with the simplest resume. They exist and when it comes to your result, it needs to be grammatically perfect.

You might think it’s not a big deal but spelling mistakes communicate crucial issues with your personality. Grammatical errors tell recruiters that you’re not detail-oriented and you’re unprofessional. Whether that’s true or not, these “small” issues are not flattering to your profile in any way.

2. Lacking A Cover Letter

One very common mistake that most job seekers make is the lack of cover letters. Almost every recruiter wants a good cover letter that allows you to directly communicate who you are and what you can do for the business. This could be your only chance to make a good first impression with your cover letter, so don’t miss it!

A good cover letter contains details like contact information, as well as why you’re right for the job. You also want a strong closing that shows you’re ready to clinch the role. Add it in the body of your application email or attach it with your resume when submitting it to a recruiter.

3. Too Few or No References

When it comes to your resume, you want a smooth reference check. Professional references are a way of building up your profile and you want to have the right number for it. Having too many or none at all can be a losing situation, especially for some job positions.

Most employers look anywhere between two to three references, usually past colleagues, mentors, professors, or even clients that can offer positive feedback about your work. Having no references means there’s nobody to vouch for your work ethic while having too many is bothersome and recruiters will believe you’re overwhelming them.

4. Lacks A Professional Profile

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One of the simplest mistakes that a good percentage of job seekers somehow do is including a resume objective rather than a professional profile. If you don’t have much work experience, you would want to list your goals and show how you can be a benefit to the company.

A professional profile tells employers what you can do for them, how you can fit into a role, and how you can benefit your team. If you need to add a career objective, link it to the business and role you’re trying to apply for.

5. Wrong or Missing Contact Information

The goal of a resume is to get you through the door and initiate an interview. A misspelled or wrong contact information completely defeats the point of the resume, which makes it difficult for recruiters to find you. It also tells recruiters that you’re too unreliable if you can’t even get your contact details right.

With your resume, it’s important to have a simple email address, usually something separate from your personal email. Double-check your phone number and confirm that everything is in the right order. The difference between getting hired and not becomes a matter of five minutes if you give everything a look.

6. Unprofessional Email Address

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While we’re talking about your contact information, having an unprofessional email address is another reason you’re likely not getting hired. Remember that email address that you made in high school that you’re still using? Chances are recruiters get turned off by it and likely lowers your hireability.

Sure, it seems “original” but you want to look professional in the eyes of a recruiter. A weird email like xxjucylucy or vapegod420 only tells recruiters that you’re not taking this seriously. You don’t want recruiters to ignore your years of technical expertise, only to be distracted by an immature email address.

7. Lacks Keywords and Buzzwords

One unusual but vital mistake that some job seekers do that costs them the job is not using keywords. Much like how an online resume works, keywords are useful in catching the eye of your potential recruiters. As most recruiters have less and less time to look through reams of resumes, you want something truly eye-catching.

Use keywords to your advantage. Industry-related buzzwords that relate to your skill can help get some eyes on your name. Without them, you’re throwing the dice and relying too much on what else you wrote on your resume. You also won’t look like a good fit for the role you’re applying for, so keywords will help you get around.

8. Unrelated Job Experiences

One of the usual faux pas is writing down unrelated job experiences to pad your resume. Some job seekers list experiences that are not in line with what they’re applying for and this can cost you the hire. Seeing unrelated past work means nothing to recruiters, so you will get your resume in the bin the moment they see it.

If your past roles appear unrelated, simply list the skills and achievements that are relevant to the job, rather than the responsibilities you had. A thinner but more concise resume should be better than seeing useless information on your papers.

9. Contains A Wall of Text

Nobody wants to read a wall of text – not online and definitely not on a resume. As we said before, recruiters don’t have much time on their hands. Reading resumes takes time and nobody has time to read a resume that has text as dense as a dissertation.

If you’re not sure if you’re doing it right, show your resume to somebody else before you send it in. If they think it’s too busy or text-heavy, then start trimming it down. You want something simple, visually attractive, and easy on the eyes. It doesn’t have to be aesthetic – just clean and functional.

10. Lacks Quantifiable Results

Recruitment today is almost all about stats and lacking quantifiable results in your resume can cost you a hire. Recruiters want to see the results you have from your previous job, whether it’s your numbers on business growth, proven ROI, or even sales value in your last job.

Not all jobs have usable numbers and metrics that they can use. Even then, you would need information that can help tell that you did something about your responsibilities.

The Bottom Line

Many resume mistakes are easy to remedy and you can attribute them more to carelessness than incompetence. This is why it’s important to give your resume a thrice over if you have to, just to make sure that everything looks good. Have other people give it a look so you have a fresh set of eyes.

Be wary of the mistakes we listed above. While there are more out there, these can help you get by and have a better chance of nailing that dream job you always wanted.

This article was written by Regi Publico Blogging on behalf of Agronomix Software. Regi is a full-time writer from Manilla, Philippines and is as passionate about writing as she is reading her huge collection of books.

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