At some point your life probably sooner than you think you’re going to have to write one of these things and whether you’re applying for a job or internship. Or in some cases even a scholarship your resume is likely to be the first thing that the decision maker sees when they’re evaluating you. Which means they’re important, because these things are so important than any recruiter or hiring manager is obviously going to get every single one they receive the utmost care and attention, Right? Wrong!!!
In reality, most resumes are never actually seen a by a human recruiter at those actually do make it to recruiters desk most are unceremoniously thrown the trash after just a few seconds. This is just a numbers game, in fact Google alone gets over 1 million resumes per year and it breaks down over 2700 a day.
Now those numbers seem daunting and it can be a little bit intimidating, but there is some good news because a lot of people make some really common mistakes on the resumes that could put them out of the running. And if you could learn to avoid those mistakes you’re gonna have a huge like up on the competition.
So today we’re going over five big resume mistakes you can make and we can talk about how you can avoid them to you get that dream job that you are.
The first big mistake we’re gonna go over is a tendency for people to write their experience section in a way it lists their job duties rather than their jobs accomplishments. But the thing is, employers do not care about what you were expected to do in your last job. They care about what you can do for them, and they want to see concrete examples from your past experience
that point to that. And since most of them are not Albus Dumbledore and they don’t have a pensieve sitting in a corner, they can’t just pure into the past and watch you at work. Which means it’s your responsibility to clearly and simply show what you accomplish in that little amount of space you have.
I had a job on campus at a research department. I got hired as a web developer and I did it maintain the website I did make changes to it. But at one point, I also had a small probably three hour project right create an automation script the ended up saving the company about 240 hours of work.
And since people are getting paid about nine bucks an hour, you can do the math on how much money that saved. Now even though the project only took me a few hours to do, in the eyes of a hiring manager it would have been by far the best indication of my creative problem-solving abilities and my ability to save their company money in the future. And if anything I did there.
Now, you might be thinking yourself right now, “I don’t have a story like this”, “I haven’t saved the company town of ours, and thousands of dollars yet”. But we do have, is the ability to make your achievements as concrete as specific as possible, and to quantify them.
To look at another example of my resume during my junior year,
I was a resident adviser at my university. And I could’ve just said, “helps to smoothly run a community of students,” but I put 60 students because that gives a more concrete and quantified example of how many students I was managing.
Believe it or not, typos and grammatical errors. And you may be thinking this is the most obvious boring tip that could ever be on a video. Butut it needs to be said because I, myself, have fallen victim to it. During the summer for my sophomore year I was getting ready for the career fair and I created what I thought was the perfect resume. at a ton of experience, tons of clubs, tons of part time jobs, like show off. I was thinking I may go to the career fair and I’m going to crush all the competition.
But To check off all the boxes, I decided to get a resume review from my career counselor first. So, I go into her office, I sit down, and thinking this is going to be a five-minute meeting. She’s gonna give me a gold star and say, “Thomas this was the best resume I’ve Ever reviewed”
But instead, she pulls out a red pen and starts marking stuff up.
And Now she’s marking things, I start to see that she’s marking out typos. Things that I did not catch myself and I thought my resume was perfect. So if you can get your resume reviewed by your career counselor. If you can’t, at least have somebody that you trust, who Isn’t you, Run over before you start handing it out. Because we are always more scrutinizing and more careful no proof reading somebody else’s work than our own.
Ignoring Job Relevance
The third big mistake is listing all of your experience in purely chronological order instead of its relevancy to the position you’re applying to. A lot of people think they’re actually supposed to list their experience in chronological order. But this is something that you shouldn’t do because you really don’t have a whole lot of time to catch the recruiters eye. You want to put the most relevant thing first. So if your computer science major applying for a job, and last summer you didn’t internship and softer development were you literally building ships off work, but then after that you just like worked at Burger King during the year.
You definitely want to put that software, development internship at the top because a recruiter and computer science company is not going to care so much about Burger King. now you can definitely go too far here, which means that there is a balance that has to be struck. In fact I got an email from somebody in their mid-twenties recently who asked me if it would be a good idea to put a mission trip they did when they were 11 years old on their resume. And as I was trying to answer that person’s question, I imagine myself as the hiring director looking at that person’s resume. And all I could think of is that something like that on a resume is gonna look like just grasping at straws.
I’m gonna think why is there anything else you’ve done in the intervening 15 years that deserves to kick that thing off the resume. Now, maybe this doesn’t apply to people who have already had long illustrious careers, have twenty PC bees and tons of awards on their shelf in their office. But if you are just looking for an entry-level position, Or you just a few years into your career, then recency does matter.
Ignoring Unpaid Experience
The fourth big mistake that is really common to students especially is placing too much emphasis on paid work. A lot of students think that they didn’t get paid for it, doesn’t really count and doesn’t belong that experience section. But here’s the thing employers don’t actually look at it that way.
Maybe you’re like Ron Swanson, even working the query since you were twelve years old you have tons of part-time jobs you’re paid for you can put on your resume. But most students don’t have that kind of experience. For the most part, when students looking for their first entry-level job. They don’t have a whole lot of paperwork and other belt. And when they do, it’s often stuff like working at Subway or Flipping Burgers are working as a Cashier. Honorable work to be sure but often doesn’t exemplify the traits that recruiters are looking for more technical positions.
But many times the same students have volunteer experiences, extracurricular, is in clubs really did gain experience and what the recruiters are looking for. And if that’s you, you should definitely put those experiences right at the top of your experience section don’t hide away in a clubs in the volunteering section.
Failing To Tailor Your Resume
That brings us to our final big mistake on the list, which is using the same resume to apply for every single position you go for. This is a huge mistake. Because again, you got just six seconds to catch recruiters eye. So make sure your tailoring your resume to every single position you’re applying for. If you’re an active student, that’s more than likely you have a diverse set experiences And skills. So when you’re going for position, ask yourself, what are the exact skills are going to look the best to recruiter hiring for this position.
Make sure you tell your resume show those things first. If you have both freelance writing experience, and coding experience, than a writing job is going to take a different resume then a coating job.
And the other important thing to note there, to be honest, is that using the same resume to apply for every single job is down right Lazy.And it shows which is bad, because honestly one of the top qualities the recruiters across every single industry is looking for, is a clear indication that this candidate is going to go above and beyond.
And I can kind of way in here myself at this point, because I actually have 8 people on my team now. And when I am looking to hire somebody the top qualities in my mind are clear work ethic, a clear ability to solve problems independently and culture fit. If somebody doesn’t take those three boxes, than our technical skills don’t really matter to me. And on the flip side, if they do check those boxes and they’ve a slight deficiency in the technical skills that often doesn’t matter because I know as long as they’re quick learner and solve problems, I can train them in those technical areas.
Not when it comes to your resume, in the best way you’re gonna demonstrate these qualities is by letting your past accomplishments speak for themselves by making sure that the experience section shows off accomplishments. In a very clear and specific way. but tailor your resume to the company and showing you put effort into the application process goes a long way as well.
Now that being said when it comes to showing up those more intrinsic qualities your resume is not the best tool for the job. Honestly, those are probably gonna come out most in the interview would have real face to face interaction with that hiring manager. But before the interview happens, another great tool for showing those qualities is having a website. If you have your own website and you can build fully that shows up your work in the way that was meant to be seen. You can show it off and all the details. And you can also show the process that you use which shows a work ethic, and your problem-solving abilities.
And also just gives you a much more customized vibrant way to present yourself.