Resumes are all about making you stand out from every other applicant. Whether you need to refresh your resume or write a brand-new one, you have limited space to show a hiring manager or recruiter why you’re a perfect fit for their open position, which means every detail you put on your resume should be carefully selected.
But what you don’t put on your resume can be just as crucial in helping you nail a job. Here’s our list of common resume mistakes you should edit immediately and a quick grammar guide for resume writing. It could be the difference between landing that next job or not.
1. Edit Out Old Past Positions
You may have heard somewhere that you should list every job you’ve had on your resume. Wrong! Positions you held more than 10 to 15 years ago that don’t relate to the job you’re applying for shouldn’t appear on your resume.
List no more than four or five jobs that span only the past decade because those are typically the most relevant jobs a recruiter will want to see. If you’ve graduated recently or held a position with the same company for a long time, listing even fewer than that is okay.
Similarly, jobs you only held for a few months likely don’t add to your snapshot. Recruiters can see that as a red flag and sink your chances of getting an interview.
2. Eliminate Extraneous Hobbies or Interests
Listing hobbies and interests on our resumes is a standard practice because it seems like a good way to stand out or look unique to hiring managers. But more often than not, it’s irrelevant information that recruiters don’t care about when reviewing stacks of resumes.
Remember, you’re showing why you meet the requirements of this position, not how unique of a person you are.
If you have hobbies pertaining to the job or field you’re applying for, include those. For example, if you’re seeking a position in a veterinary clinic, stating that you volunteer at an animal shelter is a good hobby to include. Or sharing that you follow cryptocurrency trends makes sense when applying for a job in financing.
Just leave the gardening, esports, and rock climbing off the list.
3. Avoid Listing Soft Skills
While you might have great people skills, be a hard worker, and can multitask, stating those skills on a resume often comes across as vague or acts like filler.
Focus your resume around your hard skills, such as your degrees and certifications, computer programming, technical skills, language proficiencies, etc.
If you do include some soft skills, demonstrate how effectively you use that skill. For example, briefly describe how your leadership skills benefited your project team and increased their overall productivity by X%.
4. Remove Photos or Headshots
Unless you’re aiming your sights for a career in acting, professional headshots don’t need to be included on your resume. In fact, some recruiters see it as a negative or verging on unprofessional.
Photos can also deter employers from hiring you due to unconscious biases. Your gender, race, how you dress, even how old you appear in your picture can impact a recruiter’s decision, even if it’s unintentional.
Similarly, you don’t need to mention your age or birth date on your resume. Personal information that could potentially work against you shouldn’t be mentioned.
5. Don’t Use Old Emails
Show that you are in the know with current technology trends by not using outdated emails on your resume. When in doubt, stick with Gmail and Outlook, and avoid AOL and Hotmail.
Additionally, don’t include personal websites or social media handles on your resume unless you use them in a professional capacity relevant to the job you’re applying for.
6. Leave Off Your Address If You’re Out of State
Including your address was considered an obvious practice on resumes. But now it’s acceptable to leave your physical address off, especially if you’re applying for a job in a different state than you currently reside in.
Employers are often looking to hire locally, so seeing an out-of-state address may be a turn off, and at such an early stage in the hiring process, it isn’t essential information, either.
Also, there’s a security risk with including your address if your information gets stolen. Instead, you could state that you intend to relocate to the new state in the next few months.
7. Resist Embellishments
Keep your resume to the facts and truth. Employers will find out if you’ve falsified or provided inaccurate information about your past experiences, education, skill set, time on a job, or anything else.
You do want to meet as many qualifications as recruiters are looking for, but most employers would rather have an honest employee willing to learn specific criteria on the job than someone who fakes their history.
8. Hold Off on Negative Comments
No one wants to read a bash fest on how other companies you’ve worked for are poorly run or the problems you experienced in them. Omit reasons about why you left a position or are unsatisfied with your current job.
If asked, you could include a statement about what kind of role you’re looking for or highlight how you’ve overcome challenges in your former positions, but keep these statements positive and to the point.
Quick Guide for Resume Style & Grammar
Here are a few more valuable tips to keep in mind when polishing your resume, and they all have to do with the look and style of your document.
Space Out Your Text
A long block of text looks daunting to read. Since recruiters peruse dozens of resumes daily, yours must be easily scannable and should lead the eye to the important information on the page.
Use headings to organize your information logically and bullet points to catalog your achievements for a quick read.
Cut Personal Pronouns
You don’t need to use “I,” “me,” or “we” in your resume. Your resume is about you, so it’s implied that all the information in it is yours. Writing “I worked here…” and “I received this award…” is redundant.
You can indicate your pronoun preference (she/her, he/him, they/them) if you’d like. Place it by your name or in your heading.
Use Action Verbs
Avoid the passive voice in your resume. Rephrase passive statements (like “I was hired by…”) and focus on listing your accomplishments with action verbs. You worked, performed, earned, achieved, received, delegated, headed, coordinated, etc. You get the idea.
Fix Spelling & Grammar Errors
Take the time to read through your resume or have a friend read over it to catch any spelling or grammatical mistakes. That extra step ensures the details are perfect and no silly errors cost you the job.
Find Your Career With One Tech Staffing!
Having a spectacular resume is just one aspect of the job hunt you should perfect. For more tips on how to prepare, check out advice from our professional recruiters and boost your odds of securing the job you want.
Start your job search with One Tech Staffing. See all our listings on the job board, and then talk to our recruiters to learn how we can help you grow professionally and find a career in the technical and engineering industries.
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