Biggest CV and Resume Blunders Made by Job Seekers and How to Avoid Them

Your resume is the first opportunity you get to make an impression on a potential employer. It is also the most crucial one. So, all job seekers must use it to the best of their capabilities. Make sure you try to avoid mistakes that can send your resume straight to the trash bin. The following are the most common mistakes job seekers make while creating their CVs. These mistakes often become the reason for candidates to get rejected.

1. Exaggerating Achievements and Fibbing

Stay honest when you are talking about your work history, skills and achievements. Amplifying these may come back at you when the recruiter runs a background check or wants you to do a certain task that you fibbed about. It takes very little time for the HR professionals to find out the truth. So stop bragging about things you don’t know or are aren’t experienced with as this may be the first and the last time you communicate with this company. Stick to facts that can be validated.

2. Mentioning Non-Contextual Work Experience and Hobbies

Only highlight work experience that is relevant for the profile in question. If you are seeking a graphic designing job, do not mention your stint as a ski instructor from five
 years ago. It may convey a message that you do not hold adequate relevant experience. Stay focused on the profile you are applying to and site past duties that can prove useful for the role in hand.

3. Self-Praise Without Quantified Proof

If your resume’s professional summary starts with “A dedicated professional…,’ the recruiters will lose interest and you lose credibility. Applicants must establish objective facts with the presence of figures, and not just boring clichés. The key is not to say it, but show it. Quantify professional achievements, for instance if you have enhanced client retention by 20% over the last one year, say so explicitly, rather than plainly saying you have excelled as a sales professional.

4. Over-The-Top Beautification

Your resume document must be light and quick to open. Use a font style that is common and do not add heavy images as that can make the file heavy. Using photographs is irrelevant, unless you are an actor or model. They also irk the recruiters because they unnecessarily consume extra ink and take away the focus from your skills. Also, stop designing the CV with borders otherwise a part of it may get cropped when it is printed. Keep it simple yet smart.

5. Using Different Job Titles

Make sure you use job titles that are common and widely-used. These must also be searchable as applicant tracking systems use them as keywords to screen several CVs. Complex words and flowery language may cause the ATS to forego some important information that could have otherwise been useful for your candidature. Even if your resume is in the hands of a human recruiter, uncommon words and unique phrases can alienate you and your application.

6. Generalizing the Content of the CV

As a job seeker, you cannot afford to have a fixed resume that works for all employers. Your CV must be customized each time you wish to apply to a new company. When you find an opening, take some time to carefully read the job description and then edit and personalize your CV before sending it out. You must also visit the company website to get a better idea of their line of businesses and requirements. And double-check the document so that you don’t mistakenly send the CV for Company A to Company B. You can name all resume versions differently.

7. Non-Serious Email Address

Always make sure the email address you use to mail your resume appears non-casual. It must not have numbers or adjectives, else it may seem like you lack professionalism. An address like sarah.cook@gmail.com is way better than coolestengineer@yahoo.com . Whether it is IT or media, a professional-looking ID can help you score more job interviews. If you don’t have such an account, make sure you make one before mailing the resume.

8. Typos and Grammatical Errors

Spelling mistakes can seem highly unprofessional. So make sure you do not make any typos or grammatical mistakes as this can hamper your chances of landing an interview. Also, avoid writing slang or SMS lingo. Shortcuts like ‘ur’ and ‘b4’ can cause trouble.

Hope the above points can warn you against some major blunders and help improve your resume. Happy job hunting!

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A writer by profession, Devika Arora is currently focusing her writing on the extensive domain of job search and professional careers. The above article is a compilation of facts and discusses about why companies reject applications on the basis of mistakes made in the resumes.

About Paul

Paul Eze is the Co-founder and CEO at NGCareers. He is an avid writer. Connect with Paul on Twitter

2 Comments

  1. Troy says:

    Great points. There’s definitely a fine line between stating your achievements and making yourself seem much better than you actually are. Unfortunately, way too many people tend to cross it.

  2. Fantastic stuff on this site! Very interesting posts. Awesome effort!

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