Resume Writing Mistakes: How Not to Write a Resume

A resume is an important element of your job hunting as well as your entire career. But often many people make errors in their resumes that range from mistakes to blunders and more interestingly remain unaware of the flaw in their resume. A resume is the first thing that an employer glances at. So it is not only supposed to introduce the candidate to the employer and the company but also build the first image. Often due to the mistakes that are contained in a resume, an employer doesn’t take too long to add it to the pile of trash without even meeting the candidate in person. In this way, professionals often lose out on good opportunities even if they are deserving and have potential. So, while it is important to know what and how you should write your resume, it is also vital to be aware of what not to write in a resume or how not to write a resume. Here we will focus on the latter part and discuss about the things or points that should not form a part of your resume. I’m listing 15 most dangerous resume writing mistakes here.

1. Using a Common Template

Yes, that is convenient and quite time saving too. A template that is commonly used is easy to find and download. But just think, will it actually help you much and solve your purpose? The purpose of using a good template is to make an eye-catchy resume that catches the attention of employers without much difficulty. Using a common template will not be able to serve this purpose and your resume will be lost in a crowd of other CV’s.

2. Using Small Fonts

Saving space or paper and some ink for printing is not a good idea when it comes to building a resume. If the font is too small then it will be difficult for recruiters to browse the needed information from your resume swiftly. This tends to irritate recruiters since they have to go through a big number of resumes for one single vacant position. Using small fonts will finally lead to create disinterest of employers for your resume.

3. Too Much of Designing

Overdoing anything is not good. This stands true for designing resumes as well. Using colored background, images, too many highlights such as underlining, capitalizing, bold, etc. are only going to make your resume look clumsy and unprofessional.

4. Mismatch of Job Titles in Resume with Post Applied

While screening your resume if the recruiter finds a mismatch in the job titles and/or skill headings in your resume with the post you have applied for then chances are high that your CV will not earn much respect and will be rejected immediately. Using the same resume, with the same keywords and skills mentioned, for different jobs would increase the chances of a mismatch and rejection of your application on the basis of the assumption of the employer of your being unfit for the vacant position.

5. Capitalizing on the Layout

You should not put the entire emphasis on the layout of your resume. Captivating headings, titles and design of the resume might be able to attract employer’s attention but will not help you more than that. Ignoring the content of the resume and all the relevant and important information might make you lose the opportunity.

6. Incorrect Use of Word Power

Using wrong or unsuitable language and tone will only help to create a wrong image of yours in front of the employers. Your resume should help build an image of yours that’s professional and responsible, not casual and unprofessional. Being vague about your achievements and using passive language to describe your abilities would create a very poor image of yours. So, you should include strong and action verbs to describe yourself as well as be accurate and specific in numbers while mentioning your achievements.

7. Placing Information Incorrectly

The placing of the information should be as per relevance and importance. You should not place information on your resume as you please. Keep the most important, relevant and necessary information on the top and choose the lesser important ones as you continue building your resume.

8. Mentioning about Irrelevant Work Experience and/or Education

Including information that is not linked with or is not relevant to the job vacancy you are applying for will not do any good to you. So, mentioning about your degree that is not needed for the job or the experience that is very different from the applied post is only going to confuse employers and build skepticism about you in their minds. Including any work experience in your resume that can hamper your image is surely the last thing you should do while constructing your resume.

9. Creating Long Resumes or Long Paragraphs

Do not create a resume of more than 1-2 pages long. Employers would tend to get bored and skip information in that case. Creating long paragraphs with more than 5-6 sentences would also disinterest recruiters.

10. Leaving Behind Errors

Avoid errors at any cost. Wrong punctuations, grammar, spellings or words do not have any place in a good resume. So, checking and rechecking is the keyword to a good and effective resume.

11. Including Your Aim, Goal or Mission

Employers don’t really care what your personal aim in life is. They are more concerned about how you can help the company meet its goal. So, explain about why they should hire you and how you can be of use to the company than jotting down about your personal aspirations.

12. Using First Person

The use of “I” or “me“ can kill a resume. So, avoiding the use of first person is essential, even if it may seem a bit difficult.

13. Contact Information

If you don’t mention your phone number or email address, how would the employers reach you? Mentioning invalid phone number or an unprofessional-sounding email address would manage to create an extremely poor image of yours.

14. Salary Expectation

Yes, salary is very important. But mentioning the range or expectation in the resume is not the apt thing to do. Mentioning about your past remuneration in your resume may also not look good to the employers.

15. What Not to Mention

Do not lie or exaggerate about the facts in your resume. Your prospective employer would discover the true facts through reference checks. Mentioning about political or sexual preference is a strict “No”. Including about your hobbies is useless unless they are relevant to the job profile and would help your resume. Refrain from putting negative comments about your ex-employer (or about any other matter) too. Do not use direct words to describe your skills or abilities like “team player”,” hard worker”, “responsible for….”, “self-motivated”, “committed”, “dependable”, etc. Learn to dispatch the same information in a little more professional way and with supporting facts. Physical characteristics such as your height, weight, eye color, etc. should be left out of a resume. To build an impressive and impactful resume it is essential to follow the norms that would make employers to notice you and help you get the job. The above mentioned points would help you tremendously in creating such an effective and noticeable resume.

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