‘’Find a dream job’’ is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions people set up for themselves. And to find a better job is closely related to creating an ass kicking resume. In 2017, consider spending more time on avoiding mistakes on your resume and impress the person who reads through it. Here is a little help from me, you can thank me later. This article first appeared on Enhancv last Jan 13, 2017.

Stand out from thousands of applicants

Writing a resume is a process many of us despise. Often, the hardest thing is to just sit on your butt, open the builder and start focusing on writing. You think about what your Top Strengths are and what you like doing in your free time. ”But wait, nobody cares what I like doing when I’m not at work.” Wrong!

After a few hours, you finally finished. Before you release all the tension and worry though, remember that recruiters receive hundreds of resumes in one day. What sets you apart from the others?

I can name at least 10 mistakes job applicants overlook while crafting a resume without realizing. If you’d like a better career in 2017, consider avoiding them and impress your potential employer right at the start.

1. Cliches and overused words

In the zone of writing a resume, we tend to use cliched phrases, overused words, and passive voice. The resume becomes too regular and unimpressive to any recruiter. It puts them to sleep.

We also tend to be vague in wording and not providing enough of information about our accomplishments. This will never help us hitting the bull’s eye! Be careful with repetition of words and phrases. In a two-page document like a resume, it might come across annoying.

”The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” (Thomas Jefferson)

Be creative and attract the recruiter’s attention with words and phrases that sizzle and are straight to the point. Enhancv’s new feature – Content Analyzer can help you with that.

alt resume mistakes

2. Typographical errors

Bad grammar – you surely heard that one before. There is no excuse for sloppiness, misuse of words, wrong spelling or punctuation overuse on your resume. Such mistakes will make the recruiter toss you in the reject file.

Therefore after you finish with your resume, sleep on it and take your mind off it. Let a trusted colleague or more experienced family member look at it. You can also use a spell check to make sure it’s typos-free before you send it to your dream company.

alt resume mistakes

3. Made up information

Did you really spend 6 months as an intern in that company? Are you sure you speak 6 languages? Have you raised 6000 followers on Twitter within just a month? All the information you provide must be true. Remember that in today’s world of new technologies and amounts of social media channels, recruiters can verify such details within a few clicks and phone calls.

Even if you make it to the interview stage or even to your first working week, the incorrect information and lies will come out in the end.

alt resume mistakes

4. Responsibilities VS Accomplishments

The same roles in various companies have the same, or very similar descriptions and duties. You should avoid listing the duties you had in your previous jobs. They probably are the same as many other jobs out there and don’t make you ”special”.

Rather think of your actual achievements and outcomes that resulted directly from your involvement. Make sure you quantify those results to present the significance of your work.

alt resume mistakes

5. Not specific to the company

Before crafting a resume, one of the first steps should be reading through the job requirements carefully. See the keywords they use and get the grip of who they’re actually looking for.

The second step should be going through their company website, social media profiles, and the blog. What is their company culture? What kind of people work there? Would you fit in the team? All this information will give you a head start and provide clues for your resume design, content, and overall feeling. Make it specific to the company and the job requirements.

Amanda Augustine, career expert: ”Identify the common keywords, terminology, and key phrases that routinely pop up in the job descriptions of your target company.”

6. Irrelevant experience

Your resume should be up to date with relevant information at all times. Consider leaving out that summer job you did 10 years ago. Unless you achieved something significant and relevant to the job position you’re applying for, leave it out. Nobody cares.

The experience content of your resume should exponentially progress with you.

7. Inconsistency in the format

Employers might require your resume to be in a certain format depending on their company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS). However, the safest way to save and send your resume is a PDF format. The main reason being that a PDF doesn’t change depending on the computer’s operating system.

Also, make sure your resume doesn’t get out of hand by using a number of different fonts, graphs, and neon colors. Keep it neat, clean and easy to read.

Here is an example of a good format:

alt Marissa Mayer resume

8. Paid VS Unpaid work experience

Another mistake that appears on resumes is the fact that people believe that the most valuable experience is only the paid experience. E.g. any job you’ve had so far and got actually paid for.

But how about the volunteering? And the things that make you proud? These don’t necessarily have to be connected to your job title. They can include things you do in your free time, diseases you overcame that helped you become who you are today. It can be one of the most striking sections on a resume, as long as you back it up with concrete facts, numbers and figures.

alt volunteering skills

9. Afraid to show your personality

People are still worried to show off their personality in a resume. They think it’s somewhat childish and unprofessional. They believe that this type of information is supposed to be written in a cover letter. But do employers read cover letters anymore?

Have you heard of a Company Culture? It’s the so-called personality of a company and a good one keeps employees happy. For employers, one of the factors when securing a good company culture is to hire people that are similar or have similar interests. That’s why they need to see more personality revealing sections in your resume. Make their job easier and present your charming self.

Enhancv is the only resume builder out there offering a big variety of human-centric sections. Try them out, it secured Sam a job in Spotify.

Ambra Benjamin, engineering recruiter at Facebook: ”What kind of stuff are you working on in your free time? I am always inspired by this. It also shows me that you have the passion for your field beyond your nine-to-five.”

10. Crafting only one resume

Forget this, the mindset of having a ”one fits all” resume. As there is a difference between a startup and IBM, there should be a difference in resumes that you are applying for their jobs with. Don’t you agree?

You are ready to go!

Let’s be clear, crafting a resume is not an easy job. Sometimes, we need just a little push, a reminder of what’s important to add to it or leave out.

If you haven’t yet, try Enhancv’s newest Content Analyzer feature. It was developed after reviewing over 300,000 resumes to help you improve your content and make the most out of any job opportunity. Go ahead and craft your resume!