The Most Common Resume Mistakes

Posted: 9/4/2013

By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager

Want to know the best way to NOT get an interview? Make mistakes on your resume. Your resume, like it or not, is your first impression on a hiring manager and sometimes the only chance you get to showcase your skills.

Here are the most common resume slip-ups that I still see on a daily basis:

1) Spelling and grammatical errors. I know some hiring managers who, upon finding one spelling error on a resume, will immediately discard it and pass on the candidate. ALWAYS spellcheck and proofread your resume. The most commonly misspelled word? Manager spelled as "manger." Spellcheck won't pick that up, so I suggest doing a word find for "manger" when you are done spellchecking your resume.

2) Too much or too little information. The days of one-page resumes are over, unless you are fresh out of college. If you have 15 years of experience, can you really accurately describe that experience in one page? At the same time, a 10-page resume is too much. It won't get read all the way through. I'd say a resume between two to four page is ideal.

3) Not having keywords or specific technologies. Like it or not, keywords and technology buzzwords are how recruiters find your resume in the first place. If you don't list the technologies that you have worked with, you are risking being passed over before you even get a chance. A good way to incorporate these skills is to have a technical summary at the beginning of your resume broken out into categories such as databases, languages, etc. Then you can add a small technical summary at the end of each job detailing the specific tools you utilized with that employer.

4) Simple stylistic errors. I get resumes all the time where the indentations for bullet points don't match, the fonts don't match, etc. Again, it may seem like a small thing, but it does show your attention (or lack thereof) to detail. Take a few minutes to make sure that your resume looks polished.

5) Missing detail. Look at the required skills for the job for which you are applying in the job posting before you send your resume. Add detail to your resume where you explain how your skills fit in with that job description. I can't tell you how many times I've received resumes that didn't meet the required skills, only to have a candidate call and explain how they DO have the required skills. Put that in the resume!!! That way your resume gets put into the "match" pile.