Three Easily Avoidable Resume Mistakes
by Linda Matias of www.careerstrides.com
You’ve all been there: Writing one resume after
another. Deleting, rewriting, deleting, and rewriting until you become
so overwhelmed that you decide to send what you have in the hope that an
You try that plan and it doesn’t work, so you find
yourself reading article after article on resume writing, eager to
become inspired by little nuggets of wisdom that Nationally Certified
Resume Writers provide.
So to not disappoint, I have provided the top three
resume mistakes that are easily avoidable. Follow the resume advice
below and you will increase the chances that your resume will read
better than your previous attempts.
Mistake #1: “Jack of All Trades” Resume
Let’s face it: an employer is never looking for a
hairdresser/janitor/customer service representative. You will find job
descriptions are very specific in terms of what qualifications are
needed for the open position—the focus being on the main
responsibilities of the job. Still, you may be hesitant to write a very
specific resume because you want the reader to know everything about
you, just in case a position opens up that you are semi-qualified for.
This strategy almost always backfires. If you send
a resume that lacks focus, the hiring manager will assume that you are
unfocused and ready to accept any job that comes along. In the meantime,
your competition is submitting focused resumes that speak to what the
organization is looking for. Who do you think will be the one called in
for an interview?
It’s okay if you have more than one focus. Most job
seekers do. However, if you fall into this category, this means that you
will need more than one resume. There really isn’t any way around this.
If you want to get noticed, the resumes you are submitting have to hone
in on what the hiring organization is looking for.
Mistake #2: Overuse of Bullets
Statistics indicate that the majority of hiring
managers glance at resumes instead of reading them fully. It’s hard to
blame them, since most receive hundreds of resumes for every open
With this statistic in mind, use bullet points
sparingly—to bring attention to your most notable accomplishments. If
the whole document is bulleted, it is difficult for the reader to know
what is important and quickly grasp your achievements. It’s best to
include responsibilities in paragraph form and only use bullets for
special highlights. Let’s take a look at the following example:
prices and captured reductions of up to 35%, establishing purchasing
scale and re-negotiation standard for other purchasers.
Created internal catalogue
for all purchasing departments, reducing inventory up to 60% while
concurrently decreasing costs in new purchasing quantities required.
Saved company substantial
new-hire costs by assuming responsibilities for four other positions.
Served as designated staff spokesperson to boost morale and teamwork.
between Purchasing and Warehouse departments to improve teamwork while
ensuring stronger focus on company rather than department.
As you can see, using bullets appropriately will
make the resume much easier to read and allow the decision maker to
focus on the most important aspect of the resume—your accomplishments.
Mistake #3: Making Achievements Sound Bland
The reader is interested not only in your
accomplishment, but also the steps you took in between. For example,
stating “Created high-quality exhibits” leaves readers scratching their
heads wondering how you did it.
Certified in all three areas of the job
search—Certified Interview Coach ™ (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach
(JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)—Linda Matias is
qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a
complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance.
She is also the author of "How to Say It: Job Interviews" (Prentice
Hall, August 2007). You can contact Linda Matias at linda @
careerstrides.com or visit her Website
www.careerstrides.com for additional career advice and to view
We offer a confidential consultation. Information gathered online or
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learn more about our services:
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