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5 common resume mistakes that cost candidates a job

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

With more than three decades of experience holding key sales management positions, Dean Karrel has read his fair share of resumes.

Karrel, a Career and Executive Coach with The Skyridge Group, has hired and trained thousands of people at various stages of their careers. He’s also the author of the book Mastering the Basics: Simple Lessons for Achieving Success in Business.

“Resumes are the first step in the process to land a new job,” says Karrel. “So it’s critically important, and the last thing any of us wants is a mistake that gets us removed from consideration because of a costly and often times totally avoidable mistake.”

Below, Karrel outlines five resume mistakes that cost candidates a job. But first, he offers his opinion on the resume writing process – and what he believes is the key to resume writing success.

“I think this is an important comment,” says Karrel. “We all think we can craft an effective resume over the weekend, get some feedback from friends, and then make a few edits and off we go. Or we may have a close friend from college that was a journalism major and writes well and offers to help. Are you a resume writing specialist? Is your college friend? There are times when a quick refresh from an old resume is all you need, but my view is that it’s worth the investment to have it done by a professional. They do this for a living and know the best strategies for resume development and creation. This is your career we’re talking about.”

Every hiring manager has their own idiosyncrasies with what matters to them about resumes. And while the goal of the resume is to get the interview – and then shine in the interview to land a job – one can’t get an interview if the resume doesn’t impress the sales manager, hiring manager, recruiter, or decision makers reading the resume.

Karrel breaks down five resume mistakes that cost candidates a job:

1. Proofreading errors: This first one is on every hiring manager’s top 5 and we’ve all heard it before. Typos. Seems so obvious, but it’s amazing how often it happens. Is it fair to remove someone from consideration because of an honest mistake? That’s debatable, but why even make it an issue. “Proof read once, twice, and then it send to that college journalism friend for them to proof read, too,” says Karrel.

BONUS: Resumes By Matt proofreading tip: Once the resume is complete, read the resume from bottom to top. Also print out and read holding it in your hand. And finally, read it the day after final writing. A fresh approach and “different views” when proofreading can help find mistakes one may not have found during the excitement of completing the resume.

2. Buzzwords: “For me, jargon, buzzwords and flowery language is a big turnoff,” says Karrel. “I want just the facts and keep the fluffy adjectives to a minimum. If you write like that, then you will be speaking like that too and in sales that’s a something that buyers dislike.”

3. Resume length: There’s always the debate on the right length of the resume, how far to go back in your career and with how much detail. “Three pages of bullets that go back to a sales job from 20 years ago doesn’t get you to the next step with me,” says Karrel. “I want to know your strengths and success from your most recent job and then just minimal details before that.”

4. Too much information: “This might surprise you but I’m amazed and alarmed sometimes about confidential sales data that people put on their resume,” says Karrel. “It’s okay to be proud of your accomplishments but providing actual sales volume with specific customers or divisions within your current company is risky unless it’s already readily available. If you’re not aware of the sensitivity then how would handle data from my company?”

5. Don’t embellish data: You can bet this is on every list, too. Keep it honest and accurate. “We all want to put ourselves in the best light and sell our strengths, but taking that next step by over embellishing or taking credit for accomplishments not fully yours, is wrong,” says Karrel.

“Resumes preparation can be a stressful project, so seek guidance from those who know the ins and outs,” says Karrel. “And if you keep your resume accurate, authentic, and focused, you’ll be on the right track with me.”

Want to take the next step in your career? Then hire a resume writer who can help create a resume that helps you get noticed, get interviews, and get the job.

Contact Matt Krumrie to do just that today.

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