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4 Resume Mistakes Even Smart People Make — And How to Fix Them

– Posted in: Resume Writing

Resume Mistakes

Looking for a new job can be a daunting task! Sometimes it can feel like you’re simply banging your head against the proverbial brick wall. Knowing how to attract the right job involves more than just knocking on doors and saying, “Please hire me.” It involves a thoughtful approach, using proven methods for gaining attention for your resume from the right hiring managers. It also takes the willingness to understand (and correct) the resume mistakes you might be making.

If your job search has hit a wall and you want to make every move forward that you can, consider these 4 resume mistakes that even the smartest people make and the not-so-secret ways you can correct them.

#1: Lack of Editing

Writing a resume is only the beginning of the story. No mistake will send your resume to the bottom of the pile faster than poor editing. Once you have all of the facts of your work experience outlined, the next step is to edit like your future life depends on it. Because in the eyes of the hiring manager who will review your application, it does.

Resume writing should be done as if under a magnifying glass. Take the time to look for every spelling error, punctuation misplacement, and formatting inconsistency. In doing so, you will discover that your resume is cleaner looking and more professional sounding. Subsequently, you become a viable candidate for the job of your choosing.

Resume Mistakes 1

#2: Not Making It Personal

Many people make the mistake of sending a generic resume. You may have created the most stunning example of a resume in the history of job searching, but one resume mistake you may be making is that you are forgetting to personalize before you send.
Crafting your document to the specific company you hope to join or position you hope to fill shows that you’ve done your homework. It sends the message to the reader that not just any old job will do because THIS job is the one you are perfect for! So do your research. Understand what makes the company tick, what it will take to shine in the area in which you will be working, and don’t be surprised when HR (human resources) calls you right away.

#3: Using Boring Language

Nothing will turn your resume from a winner into a dud faster than the use of vague, dull language. If your resume writing is basic and your word usage boring, perhaps you need to consider opening the thesaurus and expanding your vocabulary.

Your smartest move would be to familiarize yourself with as many verbs as possible. Action words create a sense of motion in your work experience. (Some examples of good verbs to use include advanced, reconciled, and yielded, all of which speak to results achieved as a direct result of your actions.)

Verbs can help transform your lifeless resume writing into a piece of persuasive prose, positioning you for success. So don’t hesitate to describe where you have been in your past – as well as what you will do in the future position – with verbs that get things moving.

Resume Mistake 2

#4: Using Too Much Description

While you’re considering the style of your word usage, determine if you are one of many who are making the common mistake of overusing words (adjectives in particular). Using adjectives can be a tempting solution to avoid boring resume writing. But filling out your resume with flowery words only shows that you don’t really understand what solid resume writing should look like.

Instead, keep your wording concise. Eliminate unnecessary words (such as very or highly). Focus on creating content that sells your skills and paints a picture of what you look like as an employee.

For example, if training other people has been one of your responsibilities, don’t say “Responsible for training…” but simply, “Trained…” This allows the hiring manager to sift through what he or she is reading without losing interest and to gain a clear idea of who you are as an employee.

Moving Forward Free of Resume Mistakes

Do these resume mistakes sound familiar? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of changes you need to make as you move forward?

Don’t be. Just take one step at a time, correcting first one mistake and then another. If you need to, seek out help in crafting the perfect resume. After all, having another set of eyes and an honest opinion can only improve your resume writing.

Remember that the ultimate goal of a resume is to convince the person in charge of hiring that you are the perfect candidate for the position. Take the time to identify and correct every mistake before you send it in, and be confident that you’ve done your best.

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About the author: Michelle Dumas is a multiply-certified, national-award-winning professional resume writer and career marketing expert widely recognized as pioneering thought-leader and trend-setter in the employment services industry. With 20 years of experience, Michelle has helped 10,000+ job seekers in all 50 U.S. states and across the world land rewarding jobs and build fulfilling careers.

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