22 Common Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job
In Job Search
February 12, 2016
A good resume can land you a job, but a bad one can keep you from even landing an interview. Make sure you avoid common resume mistakes so you can have a better chance of getting a job.
Crafting a great resume isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. As a healthcare professional seeking a hospital job, it can be quite difficult to stand out from the crowd and be recognized as the best candidate.
The beauty of your resume is that it is a personal marketing document that you can use to help you explain to employers, hiring managers, and recruiters that you’re the essential hire for the job.
Employers and hiring managers will review your resume several times as they continually narrow down the list of candidates that they would like to interview — so it needs to stand out each time and serve as a useful tool for you when you’re attempting to secure a job.
If your resume isn’t laid out well, has common resume mistakes, or doesn’t convey the skills and experience that you possess effectively, then you’re essentially selling yourself short and costing yourself the job.
The last thing you want to do is to sell yourself short when you’re trying to hard to find a hospital job.
It’s important to remember that your resume should work for you and not against you.
With a little research and time, you can make a concise, well-thought-out document that can help increase your chances of getting a job.
A ton of people make the same mistakes on their resumes. People try to cram too much information into their resume and forget that they can use a cover letter to detail some of their information and highlight their attributes.
Some individuals even confuse the difference between cover letters and resumes. The good news is that they both serve different purposes and are useful in every scenario when you’re evaluating which jobs you should apply to.
Your resume is essential for conveying your skills, experience, education, and professional background.
Your cover letter is a supplemental piece to your resume and details a little bit more information as to why you should be considered for the job that you’re applying for based on your professional experience and skills that you listed in your resume.
Common resume mistakes can occur because you don’t know the difference between your cover letter and resume.
Instead individuals try to make a hybrid of the two documents and they try to use a resume to do everything. The problem with this is that it either makes it too long or doesn’t detail the writer’s most important details.
A resume is your chance at a great first impression, but also, your chance to show how you can help a company.
It really is key to couple your resume with a great cover letter to detail yourself and paint a fuller picture of who you are as an employee and person.
We wanted to help people with their resumes, but rather than detailing how to write a resume, we decided to list the most common resume mistakes so you know what to avoid. We have already covered how to write an effective resume for hospital jobs or healthcare jobs in our comprehensive Resume Guide.
If you wanted to learn more about building and crafting a resume, then you should check out our Resume Guide. In this article, we will break down all the common resume mistakes to avoid so you can ensure that your resume is the best it can possibly be.
You can craft a better the document when you know what should not go on it as much as you know what should. Here are the most common resume mistakes to avoid.
23 Most Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid:
1. No Cover Letter
You would probably be surprised at the number of people who don’t use cover letters. Some people think that it is just an added thing they don’t want to do, so they avoid it.
They don’t understand that it is a tool to add to their resume.
With a cover letter, you have a full-page where you can detail your expertise and show your employer what you’ve done that can help their business.
Your cover letter is a chance for you to introduce yourself and highlight your best characteristics.
A resume should show what you’ve done through work experience and skills.
You demonstrate what you’ve done through your work experience and skills by building upon the story and details you share on your resume.
The cover letter is your chance to build up your story and elaborate why you should be considered for the job.
This is your first and best sales tool to detail your goals and show them why you would be a great fit for their company. Don’t skip it and make sure you write a new one for every job you apply for.
Essentially a cover letter is a great way for you to detail why you should be considered for the job.
It’s important to remember that your cover letter isn’t just a restatement of all the things on your resume, it’s a chance to elaborate and build upon your resume.
For instance on your resume you might mention that you achieved a record level patient satisfaction during your tenure in a previous position.
In your cover letter you should elaborate upon that accomplishment and detail how you would bring a high-standard performance level to the new position if they decided to interview you.
For more information about what information you should include in your Cover Letter, take the time to look at our comprehensive Cover Letter Guide.
Including a cover letter is extremely important to help secure you the job, and it’s a benefit to your resume that you’re missing out on if you don’t include it with your application or resume.
2. No Creativity / Too Much
There is a fine line sometimes between being creative with your resume and showing too much creativity. You want your resume to stand out, but not because it is pink and scented.
Making your resume stand out through your creative decisions might make the impression that you have a very unique personality and that they should hire you immediately, or it could backfire in your face.
Your resume should be creative and make your personality stand out, but it shouldn’t distract from the most important details about you — your skills and experience.
The moment that your creative resume distracts from the important details of your resume, then the creative elements have gone too far.
As a rule, it’s best to use creativity to format your resume instead of using a template you find in Word or Pages.
The best way to show some creativity is to create your own spacing and margins and do something with your title line that includes your personal info.
If you apply for a creative job like design or something in art, you can get more elaborate.
But for regular people, just messing with the formats, fonts (but stick with one throughout), and margins should be enough. Just don’t go too crazy.
You’ll need to use your best judgment depending on the job you’re applying for. An overly flowery resume will get trashed the same as a dull, Word-template one will.
We have created several extensive guides on how you should craft your resume to ensure that it is both formatted properly, and helps you stand out amongst the crowd by showcasing your creative personality. Some of the guides that you should review to spruce up your resume with your creative personality but stay within reason are: Resume Format, and The Best and Worst Fonts for Your Resume.
3. Including an Objective Statement
The objective statement is dead. Don’t use it anymore. An objective statement kills your chances at other positions because it shows you are just interested in one specific area.
For instance, most individuals tend to use a resume summary, or what is commonly called a professional summary. Resume summaries differ from objective statements in that summaries tend to highlight all the details that the individual reviewing your resume should know.
Objective statements make it clear what you’re seeking and feel like they are rehashing the unimportant stuff. For instance, if you’re an Optometrist and recently applied to an Optometrist position at a hospital and you have an objective statement that reads, “I am seeking a new opportunity as an Optometrist in a facility that is dedicated to going above and beyond to deliver the best patient service,” it feels like useless information.
It is already clear from your resume, cover letter, and application submission to an available Optometrist position that you’re seeking an Optometrist position.
In addition, objective statements might disqualify you from further consideration of other jobs in the hospital or healthcare facility.
Objective statements are outdated and can potentially make a hiring manager think you aren’t interested in any other job because you’re only stating that you’re interested in one position or one field.
Writing a professional summary or resume summary is a better alternative.
If you write a professional summary, it shows who you are and what you bring to the table, but doesn’t limit you to one specific field.
A professional summary just shows what you are a pro at, but that you are flexible and can grow into whatever area is best for the company.
It’s definitely a good alternative if you’re looking for some type of alternative headline. Just write who you are and what you offer and you’ll be fine.
4. Failing to Edit Properly
I know this seems crazy, but people don’t edit. Some people don’t even re-read their document to check for errors and make sure that everything flows properly or is formatted how you’d like it to be.
They dread the process so much, that when it’s written, that’s it. They attach it to an email, or print it, and send it on its way. They don’t even want to review it to make sure that it’s the most effective marketing tool for them.
It’s once again important to remember that your resume is a marketing tool to use to secure your job, and if you have formatting issues or errors that you didn’t properly edit then you’re only helping your competition secure the job.
But not editing is one of the best ways to get your resume thrown in the trash (where it probably belongs).
If you went to school for any amount of time, you should know to look back over your document and see if you missed anything or misspelled any words.
It’s a pretty simple process since we have the internet to help us with literally anything we need. There is even a sweet program called Grammarly that can edit for you while you type.
It’s amazing. You don’t even really have to know how to spell or write these days because the internet can practically do it for you. So, you really have no excuse. Edit your documents before you send them off for people to read.
In addition, most of the word programs that you use to craft your resume will also highlight errors that you need to review.
These tools make it even easier to make sure that your resume is edited properly and doesn’t contain plenty of mistakes that would automatically disqualify you from future consideration.
Failing to edit properly also falls into the category of using a poor format. Editing your resume also involves making sure that your resume is formatted properly and laid out in an intelligent order and format.
When you’re writing a resume it can be quite easy to get tripped up and work on one section while you think about what to place in another.
To avoid this, you want to make sure that you go back and edit the resume format properly to ensure that it follows the best practices for resume format.
5. Types and Grammatical Errors
Building upon the failing to edit properly common mistake that people make, you should also avoid any typing issues or grammatical errors.
As we mentioned above, any typing errors that cause misspellings might automatically disqualify yourself from future consideration.
It’s one thing to accidentally misspell a word and not see it on your resume when you review it, and it’s another thing to have a habit of misspelling words.
When you have a habit of misspelling words on your resume, it makes it seem as if you’re careless and don’t bother to put some effort to be diligent in your work.
So you have to ask yourself one question, do you want that to be the impression you create for the individual reviewing your resume?
It can be difficult to understand and comprehend all the grammar rules of the english language, but luckily there are tools to use when it comes to practicing effective grammar rules.
The tool we mentioned above, Grammarly, is extremely useful along with the other built-in tools that are used in common writing applications you use when formatting your resume.
Your resume should detail all the important details that you want to convey about your professional skills and experience. The last thing you want to happen is for people to get confused about your experience based on your poor grammar.
Take the time to review any misspellings or grammar issues that you might have in your resume to ensure that it doesn’t take away from the message you want to convey.
6. Your Resume is Too Long
Making a resume too long isn’t good. Being too wordy and having big paragraphs can hurt your resume.
If you have a ton of experience and jobs, you can make it two pages, but you better make sure you only use the information that matters.
If you just put fluff jobs and stuff that’s not relevant, then it will hurt your document and just take up space.
If you don’t have a lot of experience, it’s good to add a little more detailed and try to stretch it out to at least 3/4 of a page.
But either way, try not to use too much fluff and don’t add stuff that doesn’t matter. Try to write the experiences and skills that best fit the new job.
Too much fluff or addition of stuff that doesn’t matter will take away from your skills and experience that you already have on your resume, and will create the impression that you’re just adding things to take up space.
You don’t want to make it seem as if you’re just adding stuff to take up space, because it makes it seem as if you’ve got nothing else to add. Even though that might be true, it’s best to just keep it concise and to the point.
Also, list your best jobs. This goes along the line of including the relevant jobs on your resume.
The last thing that you want to do is have a bunch of irrelevant jobs on your resume that don’t matter.
Once again it makes it seem as if you’re just adding things that aren’t relevant because you don’t have anything that is close to the position you’re applying for — and that makes you look unqualified.
If there are jobs you hated or didn’t learn anything from, you can leave those out, but try not to have long unexplainable gaps in employment and always list your most current job first.
If you were unemployed for a long time, you should be able to explain why you had gaps in your employment as well.
Make sure your resume isn’t too long or too short. Too long and it can easily get cluttered and distract the individual from the relevant information on your resume. Too short and it can make it seem as if you’re not qualified for the position that you’re applying for or that you lack relevant experience.
7. Your Resume is Dense
One of the most common resume mistakes is dense, long sentences in resumes. People think that they have to make these convoluted sentences littered with flowery language just because they need a job.
When your resume is dense, it can just seem like a ton of words and it’s hard to gather the information you need or want.
People try to impress hiring managers with their professional sounding vocabulary, but it tends to turn more people off than impress.
One of the best things to do is sound professional but use words you would normally use.
Don’t try to be something you’re not, and don’t try to sound unnatural — it will show.
Using all these convoluted words and big sentences makes your document hard to read. When people have to crawl through thick sludgy sentences just to see why they should hire you, they will just throw your resume away and move on to the next one.
Simply articulate to them how you can help their company and why you would be a good fit, and move on.
Your goal in crafting your resume shouldn’t be focused around trying to create several paragraphs with each job. It should be focused on detailing your accomplishments.
Another thing you need to be aware of is to make sure that your resume isn’t visually distracting either.
Earlier we mentioned how important it is for your resume to be creative and that it should showcase your personality as well. The only thing you want to avoid is to make sure that it doesn’t distract the individual reviewing it because of all the creative things you decided to add.
For instance, a lot of resume templates have a bunch of weird layouts or graphics on them. The idea behind these resumes is that they add to the overall personality of the resume, but can be confusing to follow.
You don’t want to make it difficult for the individual reviewing your resume to understand where they need to look next to get the next piece of information on your skills and experience.
When all else fails, you want to keep it as simple and straight forward as possible — so stick to the things that have worked in the past.
For more information on the three tested and proven resume formats that you should use, take the time to review our Resume Format guide.
Avoid adding too much useless information to your resume and attempt to keep it focused on your role and accomplishments. Too dense and the individual reviewing your resume will get lost or simply throw it out.
8. Too Much Personal Information
Sometimes job seekers put too much personal information on their resumes. Unless putting that you are an avid mountain biker will benefit the company in some way, it’s probably best to leave that out.
If you do put hobbies or interests on your resume, do it strategically so that it highlights some skill set or shows how you can bring something extra to the company.
It’s important to remember that everything should be focused towards painting a positive picture on your experience and skills.
When you put too much personal information on your resume, you potentially distract from the important details on your resume.
Just putting that you like to sip mimosas while hanging out with your 10 cats may come off as a little weird and not really show any added value to the company.
Remember to keep it professional and don’t talk too much about your personal life. You’re trying to score a job, not new friends.
Keep the information on your resume relevant to the job, and avoid creating any distractions or confusing the individual who is reviewing your resume.
A good way to make sure that you don’t have too much information on your resume is to ask yourself whether or not the information you’re providing is going to directly help you secure a future job.
The personal information that you should include on your resume should confined to contact details like your name, address, phone number, and email.
Anything else borders on the line of unnecessary on your resume. If you’re a recent graduate with limited experience it might seem like a good idea to include information about your transcript but you don’t need to include it.
You can avoid listing your GPA, classes that you took, and any other organizations you were a part of. The only time you should mention them is if they are directly relevant to the position you are applying for, and you can ensure this is one common resume mistake you avoid.
Avoid including too much personal information on your resume.
9. Irrelevant Information
This is one of the most common resume mistakes people fresh out of school make. Many people put irrelevant jobs and information on their resumes that companies don’t really care about.
It is good to put professional experiences and skills you gained in college and to count your time in college towards your years of experience in a field.
Technically, if you spent the last two years of your college career focusing heavily on marketing or something, then you already have two years experience in that field.
This is why internships and volunteer experience are critical to showcasing your experience in a field if you don’t have any professional working experience in the industry.
Even though you might have worked at Papa John’s during your summer while you were in college or in high school, it won’t matter as much as the things you did that helped focus your career towards the field you want.
Essentially, it’s important to have those on your resume until you have more applicable experience in the field that you want to work in.
If you don’t have any applicable experience in the field that you want to work in, then including those irrelevant jobs in your resume is a good idea because you can showcase that you’re a hard worker and that you’re committed to showing up on time, and learning on the job.
In addition, some of those irrelevant jobs that aren’t related to your field might have taught you some valuable skills to use in the field that you’re interested in. If you gained great skills through a job like Papa John’s, then write it down.
You might even be able to reference a lesson you learned in those other jobs and showcase how that has helped you throughout your career.
I’m just talking about irrelevant stuff here. you can spin any experience or job to fit your needs in some way. You’ll just have to be creative.
Make sure that you try and keep your resume focused on the job you want, and the job you apply to.
This way you can avoid referencing jobs that aren’t related and don’t make sense to the individual reviewing your resume.
You should strive to have everything on your resume stay relevant to the job you’re applying to for the most success. This is one of the easiest CV errors to avoid and common resume mistakes to avoid, so don’t fall victim!
10. Including “References Available on Request”
They know you have references, and if you don’t have references, you need to get some. Don’t tell hiring managers your references are available on request.
It’s just a weird way to end a resume and you shouldn’t do it. Either put down a couple of people they can call, or leave it out.
It should be good enough to include the numbers of past employers where you list your jobs. If they need anything beyond that, they can ask for them.
If you decide to include references, make sure that you talk to them beforehand and make sure that they’re comfortable with the idea of being a reference for you.
Your references can help you seal the deal on a new job opportunity, or cost you the job.
The last thing you want is to list a reference that doesn’t know much about you or won’t speak positively on your behalf.
A nightmare scenario that could potentially happen is for you to mention a reference that you believe would speak highly of you only for those references to tell the individual calling them for the reference will say that they don’t really know you or that they cannot speak about your work ethic or skills.
You can easily avoid this nightmare scenario by just checking in on your references to make sure they’re comfortable speaking on your behalf and willing to provide some insight for employers on the odd chance they call you.
References in today’s employment environment are hit or miss now-a-days because employers are willing to forego reference checking to determine whether or not you’re a solid employee by just looking at your professional history.
If you have a solid work history with experience and education background, then employers can tell that you’re a hard working individual and you’re worth considering.
Typically employers, recruiters, and hiring managers will call or check on your references if you don’t have a strong work history or experience.
11. Failing to Use Relevant Keywords
This is a killer, especially if you post your resume online. Now, job sites have algorithms that sort your resume by job, keywords, and relevance.
That means if you’re not using the right keywords, your resume is sitting in some dump pile that isn’t categorized correctly and nobody sees it.
You’ll want to put the best keywords in your resume that fit your job title and the job you want.
Managers can search through databases by these words and pull up the resumes that have them in the document.
So if you’re looking for a marketing job, but you don’t put marketing anywhere in your resume, that’s not good.
You definitely want to optimize your document for the best visibility online and using keywords is the best way to do that.
For instance, the applicant tracking systems or resume tracking systems will evaluate your resumes and count up all the keywords used in your resume.
If you are applying for a healthcare IT job, and the number one keyword in your resume that is pulled from the system is manager, then they might get confused about whether you are seeking a manager job or if you’re seeking a healthcare IT job.
Including important and relevant keywords is critical in today’s job search environment to make sure that you position yourself in the best way possible to secure a job.
Now, we aren’t suggesting you spam your resume with a ton of keywords or write the same one over and over, but if you strategically place a few good keywords in your document a few good times, then you will increase your visibility and help your odds of getting a call for an interview if the employer or healthcare organization is using one of the advanced applicant tracking system.
12. Lack of Specifics
One common resume mistake to avoid is to lack specifics throughout your resume. This essentially means that you’re not explaining enough detail about your experience or skill set.
You have to place yourself in the shoes of the individual reviewing and evaluating your resume. When you go through your resume, do you have questions? Would you like things to be explained more?
Did you mention your accomplishments or achievements in your previous position? If you find yourself asking questions about the things on your resume, then you can rest assured knowing that the individual reviewing your resume will have similar questions.
The next step is to determine whether or not you can rephrase the existing things that are on your resume, or if you have to add additional content. Ideally, if your resume is already really busy or dense, then you want to rephrase what you already have.
You don’t want to add more to your resume if it’s already too busy or dense.
Your resume should state the obvious to a hiring manager and understand what you’ve done in previous positions, including previous accomplishments and achievements.
For example, here is how you might improve upon your resume:
• Example A: Worked with employees in a chaotic nursing field.
• Example B: Collaborated with a team of 12 other nurses to improve patient satisfaction ratings by 15% over the course of 2 years.
As one can see, the second Example clearly answers all of the questions that might have been asked about the first example. It clearly establishes what you did in your prior job and lists some clear accomplishments you had related to that role.
The first example is too broad and leaves the individual asking questions.
The thing you need to be careful about doing when you’re adding specifics to your resume is to make sure that you don’t elaborate too much.
You have to be careful with how much you add, but also provide enough detail and specifics to answer any questions they might have.
If you can add additional details to each one of your roles that includes the accomplishments you had, then you can entice the employer to want to know more about you and potentially seek an interview with you.
13. Attempting One-Size Fits All
Another thing that you should clearly avoid doing when crafting and creating your resume is to use the one-size fits all strategy. Most people think that they should make one resume to use for every single job they apply to.
The problem with this is that in doing so, you might include a bunch of irrelevant jobs or experience that shouldn’t be included.
It’s important to remember that your resume is like a piece of real estate. You only want to include the important details on it without forcing all the recruiters or employers to navigate through the trash on the lawn.
When you have too much clutter or unnecessary information on your resume because you’re trying to save time, it creates the impression that you don’t have any other relevant skills or experience that should take up that space and real estate on your resume.
You should take the time to tailor your resume and craft a unique one for each job or field that you apply to. It will take more time than crafting one generic resume, but it will ultimately pay dividends for you in the long run.
14. Highlighting Duties And Not Accomplishments
As we mentioned earlier with some of our prior examples, the one thing you want to avoid is to just focus on your duties only. You want to focus on your duties, and detail accomplishments you had when you were performing those duties or in that role.
For instance, there are tons of Registered Nurses who care for patients on a daily basis. What separates your experience or skills from those other individuals who do the same role as you in another location or facility? The keywords are accomplishments or achievements.
You might have the same role or responsibility as others, but did you outperform them over the same time frame?
If you can demonstrate that you did, then employers will seek you over others who are applying for the same role.
It’s important to remember that you’re trying to separate yourself from the others who are in the same position as you. You want to clearly demonstrate that you know what you’re doing in your role, and that you’re not just a do-er you’re an achiever.
It’s always important to remember that recruiters, hiring managers, and employers are constantly seeking employees that can add value to hospital and organization.
If you can demonstrate that you can add that value more so than the other candidates that they are considering, then you’re basically a shoe-in for the job.
Your resume shouldn’t look like an application with job descriptions on it. It should be a professional document that highlights how you clearly learned and achieved.
15. You Didn’t Include Action Verbs
One of the common resume mistakes to avoid is to forget using any action verbs throughout your resume. Action verbs are super important throughout your resume, because they showcase that you’ve done something.
For instance a job description might read, “Perform frequent audits of healthcare billing procedures.” Your resume shouldn’t be a copy and paste of your job description in your previous role. It should be a reflection of all that you did in your previous role through the use of action verbs.
For instance, which looks better:
• Example A: “I would perform various secretarial duties throughout the day.”
• Example B: “Performed various admistrative and organizational tasks to improve the efficiency of care.”
Action verbs help you increase the level of your resume to the next level and showcase your hardworking accomplishments and tasks that you completed in your previous role.
16. Bad Resume Summary
Earlier we mentioned the importance of not including an objective statement because they’re relatively outdated in the current job search environment. The next resume mistake to avoid is a bad resume summary or a bad professional summary.
If you decide to include a resume summary a bad summary could be the difference between you getting considered for the job or being dropped from further consideration.
Summaries need to be focused on detailing who you are and what accomplishments you’ve had in your previous roles. You should strive to make sure that they are focused and relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
For example, “An accomplished Medical Assistant that has seventeen years of experience in improving patient outcomes and increasing patient retention year-over-year.”
This summary clearly details your experience and also provides a clear reasoning as to why they should consider you for the position you’re applying for.
We’ve taken the time to include the most relevant action verbs that you should include on your resume in our Resume Action Verbs resume guide. There are over 250 resume action verbs to consider when you’re crafting your resume, and we’ve also detailed how and when you should use them throughout your resume.
17. Incorrect Contact Information
Your contact information might be the most important piece of info on your resume. It might even be more important than the skills and experience on your resume.
While your skills and experience are important, if the employer or hiring manager doesn’t know how to contact you — then they cannot offer you a chance to interview or even offer you the job.
When you are going through your grammar checks and your spelling checks, then you need to make sure that your contact information is accurate as well. If you decide to use a template, then you need to make sure that you input your contact information.
A lot of the resume templates that you could potentially have dummy information or forget to even include the contact information on the resume itself.
You have to be really careful in making sure that your resume that you are crafting or the template resume that you are using has the correct contact information.
You don’t want to put in all the effort of having a fantastic resume and then never hear back because you forgot to include your contact information.
18. Leaving Off Important Information
Similar to forgetting to have your contact information on your resume, you could also accidentally leave off other important information. This is one common resume mistake that is easy to avoid because all it takes is a little bit of time to make sure that you have everything on it that you want to include.
A couple of the easy things to forget to include on your resume are your skills or certifications. In addition you should remember to include any other continuing education courses that you were required to take.
Including these will help you stand out from the crowd of those individuals who fail to mention their unique skills and relevant certifications.
19. Using Made Up Information
One thing that will automatically disqualify you from future consideration with any position that you apply to will be to use made up information. Made up information will present you as a liar who will do anything it takes to secure a job.
If you’re willing to lie before you even establish a professional relationship with the company you hope to work for, then what else will you lie about
In addition, you shouldn’t tell little white lies on your resume either. You shouldn’t exaggerate either.
It might seem ok to exaggerate a little bit if it’s near the truth, but you should avoid doing that at all costs.
Employers and hiring managers will ask you a host of questions and also ask you to elaborate upon the things included on your resume.
If you’re unable to explain everything in detail or can’t provide a realistic answer as to why something is on your resume, then you will automatically disqualify yourself from their consideration.
You want to be confident with your answers and with the information provided on your resume about your previous experience and accomplishments and the best way to do that is to make sure that you only use truthful and accurate information throughout your resume.
20. Using Cliches Or Overused Phrases
Earlier we mentioned that you should use action verbs throughout your resume. One common resume mistake to avoid is the use of cliches or phrases that are commonly overused.
There are plenty of helpful resume guides or suggestions that you should follow. In those guides they recommend the best phrases you should include throughout your resume.
Even though it may seem like a good idea to use a lot of cliche phrases or overused phrases that those guides recommend, the best way to do that is to be as authentic as possible and only include the most relevant phrases or details that you need to.
If you find that you’re going out of your way to add substance to your resume because you can’t think of anything else, then you’re doing it wrong.
When you’re describing your accomplishments and your responsibilities in previous roles, just be specific and authentic.
The way to be creative and grab the attention of the individual who is reviewing your resume is to attract them with the accomplishments you’ve had in prior locations.
You want to make sure that you avoid cliche phrases that are used in templates or other resume guides because you will struggle to be authentic throughout the rest of the resume.
21. Format Inconsistency
Throughout this article we’ve mentioned several times about the importance of the resume format you decide to use. The resume format should be easy to follow for the individual reviewing your resume.
If your resume is formatted poorly, it will also work against you in the applicant tracking systems. As we mentioned earlier, when the applicant tracking system attempts to pull relevant keywords from your resume to create a shot synopsis on you as a candidate for the employer or recruiter to read when they review your resume, it will pull the wrong information or come up completely empty and error out.
In the event that your resume errors out, the system couldn’t pull any information from it because the format was so poor that it didn’t know how to read it.
The last thing you want to happen is to have the resume format you choose be the reason that you couldn’t get the job.
You want to have your resume work for you and not against you.
In addition to how your resume is logically laid out, you also want to make sure that it has the right file format. Ideally, applicant tracking systems and employers will ask that you submit your resume as a .doc or as a pdf.
If you work in a word application software that isn’t Microsoft Word or Google Docs, then you also run the risk of not having it display or formatted properly when somebody opens it in a different program.
For instance, one of the most common free open-source word application software that many individuals tend to use is OpenOffice. The only problem with using OpenOffice is that it saves documents into a .docx, and the current file format of the current Microsoft Word is that it saves in .doc.
If you are using a resume template or resume format that specifically relies on the specific program, then it might not be formatted properly and look all discombobulated when you open it in another software like Word or Adobe PDF Reader.
Therefore you want to make sure that your resume is formatted consistently by opening it up in different applications before submitting it for review.
22. Not Including Unpaid Experience
One thing that you could be potentially leaving out on your resume is the relevant unpaid experience. Volunteer experience is fantastic and hopefully you’re including that as well, but you should also include unpaid professional experience.
There is a difference between the two. Even though you’re not getting paid for either, they do have different benefits and should be included on your resume.
For instance, volunteer experience is a great way to show that you’re passionate about helping others in the hospital or healthcare industry through your outside activities.
Volunteer experience is also a great way for you to learn new skills and then implement them in a real world setting where others rely on your work ethic.
Unpaid experience is a great way for you to learn and use professional skills that relate to your job or industry of choice.
Unpaid experience is very similar to internships. Not every internship offers a paycheck while you’re working, so you should also take the time to include them on your resume to showcase that you have professional experience even if you haven’t had any paycheck.
Unpaid experience that is in the relevant industry is a great way for you to showcase that you have experience in the industry that you’re looking to get in.
Unpaid experience is also important to include on your resume if you don’t have any paid experience due to recently graduating.
If you have unpaid experience that was a result of one of the classes you took during your education, then you should include that as well.
For instance if you have to do clinical rotations as part of the requirements to graduate — then you should include that experience in your resume.
Not including unpaid experience on your resume is a mistake and you’re missing out on an opportunity to showcase that you have more experience than you realize.
If you follow these tips, you should increase your odds of at least landing an interview.
The job market is hard, so you need all the help you can get. Just make sure you have a good document that is well formatted, written, edited, and shows how you can help the company. If you do those things, you should get a call.
If not, don’t sweat it; see where you can improve and move on to the next.
Just make sure you keep do your research and craft thoughtful cover letters and great resumes to highlight why you are the best one for the job.
If you take the time to make sure that you avoid these common resume mistakes, then you can stand out as one of the most qualified candidates and make sure that your resume is working for you and not against you.
(Article / Content Updated 2018)