Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
Featuring career experts, recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers who help you get hired
Most job seekers cringe at the thought of writing their own resume. It's tough work, especially for those who aren't skilled writers, or who haven't kept good records of their career success. Most job seekers are timid when writing resumes - afraid to make mistakes that may eliminate them from contention for the job.
To help avoid those mistakes, we uncover 5 resume blunders to avoid, according to Laura Mazzullo of East Side Staffing, a premier, boutique recruitment firm focused on the permanent placement of Human Resources professionals.
5 Resume Blunders to Avoid
1. Don’t use specific jargon that only those in your organization would understand.
"I often see acronyms that are company specific and a new, potential employer would have no way of knowing what that is," says Mazzullo. :If you are going to abbreviate something, ensure you have the full phrase and then put the abbreviation next to it in parentheses."
2. Don’t have inconsistent formatting.
If you are using past tense, ensure ½ the verbs aren’t still in present tense. "I see this a lot.," says Mazzullo. Stay consistent with verb tenses throughout the entire resume. On this note, proofread for grammatical errors, including spelling errors, unnecessary punctuation, inconsistent alignment with dates/margins—all things that are visually unappealing and can turn-off a detail-oriented, potential employer.
3. Don’t give credit to everyone on your team but you!
Many resumes have bullets like: “Supported, Assisted, Helped…” Think about what you did independently and autonomously. Employers will be impressed by your own personal achievements; ensure you are referring to what you personally built, achieved, accomplished and delivered - not what your colleagues/boss did!
4. Don’t ignore the fact that employers may not know what your company does.
A one-line description of the company you work for under the employer name is advised, especially if it’s a smaller/less well-known organization. This helps the potential employer understand what industries you’ve worked in. Never assume someone knows where you work. Educate them.
5. Don’t have duplicate bullets.
In other words, check for redundancy. If you think you’ve mentioned something similar in another bullet, leave it out. Each bullet should be unique from the next. Using three bullets to rephrase the same responsibilities isn’t impressive to a potential employer. "Think about each and every thing you’ve accomplished/achieved and have a separate bullet for each," says Mazzullo.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes and cover letters, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for the Star Tribune, Flexjobs.com, Ziprecruiter.com and more.