Double-checking your resume is an integral part of any job search, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t. 77% of all hiring managers surveyed disqualify applicants over grammatical mistakes or typos, so it’s important to watch out for common mistakes that could cost you a job.
10 Dos and Don’t When Writing a Resume
Your resume is the first point of contact with a potential employer, but you risk losing out on an incredible career if you make a few simple errors.
Here’s how to fix 5 common resume mistakes.
1. DON’T: Write a 3 Page Resume (Unless You’re a Senior Candidate)
Unless you’re a senior applicant with over ten plus years of experience, there’s no reason to have a 3-page resume. Most job recruiters will disqualify you if they see more than two pages, but the sweet spot is 1 page. Do your best to make the recruiting process easy for employers.
2. DO: Write a Simple Resume That Only Includes Relevant Information
Job recruiters love reading resumes that are short, sweet, and full of relevant information. You can also make reading your resume easier by adding bullet points, trimming your text, and avoiding exaggerations. Try to be concise and use action verbs (not passive voice) more often.
3. DON’T: Use a Functional Resume Structure (Most of the Time)
If you have a gap in your resume, some resume writers will suggest using the functional resume format because it focuses on your skills and hides your experience. However, most employers can see that trick from a mile away and will likely reject your application if they notice the gap.
4. DO: Make Your Resume Look Professional By Using a Template
The reverse-chronological resume structure is the best option for your job search needs as long as you format it properly. If you need a bit of help writing your resume, check out the best free resume builder on the internet, BeamJobs, to create all of your job-related documents instantly.
5. DON’T: Cram Keywords Into Your Resume to Bypass ATS
Applicant tracking software (ATS) scans resumes to check for relevant keywords and cultural fit. Some applicants will stuff their resumes full of keywords by putting phrases where they don’t belong or whiting out text. Both actions will disqualify you after a human looks at your resume.
6. DO: Place Relevant Keywords Naturally in Your Resume
It’s good practice to read a job posting and then add relevant keywords to your resume, but they need to look naturally placed. You also need to include keywords that are close to the target word to signal the ATS further. For example, use teamwork, team player, and cooperation.
7. DON’T: Make Any Spelling Errors or Grammar Mistakes
Spelling errors and grammar mistakes are common and usually overlooked in long applications, but resumes are short documents that likely need a once-over. If a recruiter sees an error in your resume, they may feel like you don’t care enough to edit or look over your work.
8. DO: Use a Spellchecker or Ask a Resume Professional
Editing your own resume is difficult because you’re spending so much time looking at the same document. This can cause your eyes to glaze over and miss several errors. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use a spellchecker or ask a friend or professional to check your resume.
9. DON’T: State The Duties You Performed Without Mentioning Results
In your experience section, you’ve likely explained what duties you performed or what you learned while being employed at that company. But an employer cares more about how your skills and experience led to actionable results, as it helps them envision how you’ll help them.
10. DO: Explain How Your Experience Can Help the Employer
When writing your experience section, emphasize your value to the company. For example, if you worked on a project that generated 120% more revenue for the business, put that fact on your resume. It’s okay to talk about your accomplishments, as confidence can go a long way.
Writing a resume can be challenging, but if you avoid common resume mistakes and use our best practices instead, you’ll have a good chance of landing your dream job.