10 resume mistakes that cost you job opportunities, salary & credibility

Irene McConnell

Anyone’s who’s spent more than a few seconds Googling ‘résumé mistakes’ knows that the Internet is awash with blog posts warning about the dangers of spelling mistakes and a failure to use action verbs on your résumé.

While there’s a sea of such tips available, most of the information out there is painfully obvious, and not particularly helpful to someone with even the tiniest modicum of common sense.

Further, most of it fails to address the less obvious, but equally crippling résumé mistakes below that I see qualified and capable candidates make on a daily basis.

3. You didn’t quantify

Recruiters know what a Head of Operations, General Manager, VP of Marketing, or Account Director does in their day-to-day work, so providing a laundry list of your duties isn’t particularly impactful.

What does make a difference is demonstrating scope, and for that you need to share hard numbers.

Recruiters want to know size of budget and P&L accountability, number of direct and indirect reports, reporting structures, and organisational size and hierarchy… all of which they use to piece together a picture of the candidate.

Whenever you can, quantify your duties and accomplishments, being as specific as possible.

8. Your résumé is not tailored

You can’t be all things to all people, and nor can you have one résumé for all roles.

Candidates who think they can get away with a one-size-fits-all résumé give the impression of trying to slide by without putting in the requisite effort. Worse, they often fail to address the core competencies needed for each.

While you don’t need to rewrite your entire résumé for every role, you do need to consider what’s important for each.

Create several versions of your résumé and fine-tune bullet points, key skills, assets, and keywords to make each one fit-for-purpose.

9. You listed every job you’ve ever had

When it comes to preparing your résumé, more is not better.

While I understand the impulse behind including your entire work history — after all, you want to look experienced — a ‘greatest hits’ strategy is a far better approach.

My team typically details between 3 and 6 of the most recent and relevant roles from the past 10 to 15 years, listing earlier career history in a summary section that includes titles, organisations, and tenure.

We also take a ‘Russian Doll’ approach, whereby your most recent roles are allocated more real estate on your résumé than those further back in time.

See all 10 mistakes and the complete FireBrandTalent article

10 interviewing tips that lead to high job offers

Ken Sundheim

3. Remember it’s what you can do for the employer

The best way to sell is to talk in terms of what the other person wants.

Take the time to think about what benefits and skills you bring to the table.  Read over the job description and envision the concerns and needs of that employer.

By speaking about how you can deliver the desired results, you are more likely to get an offer and, when you do you have more leverage negotiating the salary you want.  In essence, give the employer what they want and you will get everything you need.


4. Be approachable and likable

When interviewing, the hiring manager is going to look for intangibles such as whether you are going to fit in with the corporate culture a.k.a. will you get along with the employees and enjoy working there.

The best way to make the interviewer confident that you’ll fit in is to be approachable and likable throughout the interviewing process.  Don’t play hard to get, remain easy going and connect with the individual on a personal basis. Remember to smile.

9. Ask the right questions in the right manner

When you ask questions, don’t come across as skeptical or prying, rather ask the questions because you want the information.  People don’t like hidden agendas and interviewers are no different.  Prior to interviewing, formulate some interviewing questions that you are comfortable with and deliver those inquiries in a non-assuming, intelligent manner.

See all 10 tips and the complete The Ladders article



5 Huge Resume Mistakes Google’s Head of HR Sees All the Time

By Scott Dockweiler

Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, estimates that he’s personally reviewed more than 20,000 resumes over the course of his career.

First of all, we’re sorry for him.

But secondly, we’re pretty sure he knows a thing or two about what makes a resume shine and—perhaps more importantly—get tossed in the trash.

In fact, he shared his insights earlier this week in a LinkedIn Influencer post. Here’s what he had to say about the five biggest mistakes he sees candidates making, plus our expert tips for making sure your resume doesn’t include any of these blunders.

Mistake #1: Typos

We know—you’ve heard it. But while “this one seems obvious,” Bock writes, “…it happens again and again. A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos.”

The Fix

Have someone else read your resume—often, other people can more easily spot errors because they haven’t been staring at the page for hours. If that’s really not possible, use Muse editor-in-chief Adrian Granzella Larssen’s tips for proofreading your own resume: “It’s helpful to temporarily change the font, or to read your resume from the bottom up—your eyes get used to reading a page one way and can often catch new errors when you mix the format up.”

Finally, once you’ve reviewed it, stop making those final tiny changes. “People who tweak their resumes the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error,” explains Bock, “because they often result from going back again and again to fine tune your resume just one last time. And in doing so, a subject and verb suddenly don’t match up, or a period is left in the wrong place, or a set of dates gets knocked out of alignment.”

Mistake #3: “Creative” Formatting

When it comes to resumes, Bock says, substance definitely matters more than style. He’d definitely prefer to see a simple, traditional, perfectly formatted resume than something creative that’s tough to read. “Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible,” he writes.

The Fix

When in doubt, go simple and spend most of your time sharpening your bullet points rather than making them look great. (In fact, make your life really easy and download one of these resume templates.) Then, make sure the formatting looks great no matter what program it’s opened in. As Bock recommends, “If you can, look at it in both Google Docs and Word, and then attach it to an email and open it as a preview.” Saving your resume as a PDF rather than a .doc file should help alleviate any formatting problems in different programs.

See all 5 mistakes, the fixes, and the complete TheMuse article

Five Ways To Make Your Resume Ten Times Stronger

Liz Ryan

You can make your resume stand out easily, because most resumes are horrifying. They are bland and boring and they make vibrant, cool people sound dull and ordinary.

That’s because the standard resume format, full of jargon and boring business language, sucks the juice out of even the juiciest and most interesting people.

It’s easy to make your resume much more powerful than it is right now, but you have to take a tiny little risk to get the benefits of an amped-up resume with a human voice in it.

You have to be willing to step out of the standard routine! That is a hard thing for a lot of people to do. They fear nothing more than they fear being different, or stepping away from the crowd.

I feel sorry for them, because the people who can stand apart get a lot more of the things they want!

When you put a human voice in your resume, you won’t pitch your resume into Black Hole online application sites anymore.

You know what I’m talking about — those faceless, anonymous ATS recruiting portals that try to screen people in or out of a hiring pipeline using keyword-searching software.

That’s a ridiculous way to hire people! I was an HR VP and I didn’t need software to scan resumes for keywords.

Don’t say “Companies get flooded with applications.” That’s no defense.

If they do, that’s their own fault. It’s bad marketing. Would you be sympathetic to your marketing folks at work if the sales team said “We’re spending all our time talking to the wrong customers, people who call us but would never buy our products?”

Of course not! You would tell your marketing people to market to the right audience, not just the biggest audience they can find.

HR people are in sales and marketing now, whether they know it or not!

You can reach your own hiring manager, the person who will be your boss, directly at his or her desk. It’s not hard to do. Here’s how to find that person.

Here’s how to write a Pain Letter to attach to your Human-Voiced Resume when you send it to your hiring manager.

Now, let’s power up your resume!

Here are five ways to make your resume much more compelling, readable and relevant than it is right now.

2) Power Up Your Summary

Your Human-Voiced Resume Summary is the meat and potatoes of your resume. It is a critically important part of your branding, because it tells your human story in your own, powerful human voice. Here are two examples:

I was an accountant for seven years before getting interested in financial recruiting. Now my relationships with thousands of candidates allow me to find great people for my employers and clients and get them on board.

No jargon — just a simple human story. This job-seeking recruiter is obviously confident — and why shouldn’t s/he be? Just invite this job-seeking recruiter in and ask a few questions.  You’ll see that the recruiter has been successful at past jobs and has every reason to be confident.

I’m an HR Manager whose mission is to help people be more successful at work. At Angry Chocolates I grew our team from 26 to 215 employees in two years while we grew from $10M to $45M in sales.

What else could you possibly need to know? This HR person knows his or her mission and has already told us a story about how that mission powered his or her success.

For weenies who don’t want an HR Manager with the mission to help employees be more successful, this candidate has a message: Don’t waste my time calling me for an interview!

3)  Add Dragon-Slaying Stories

Dragon-Slaying Stories are quick stories that tell us how you came, saw and conquered on your past jobs. Don’t tell us about the boring, out-of-context tasks you performed at your past assignments. We can figure them out from your job titles!

Anybody in those past jobs would have performed the exact same tasks you did. Tell us what you left in your wake, instead! Here are two Dragon-Slaying Stories to illustrate:

  • In my boss’ absence I solved a $140K billing snarl-up that would have cost our company its largest customer if we hadn’t gotten things straightened out fast.
  • When our two biggest rivals merged, I launched a grassroots email marketing campaign that brought in $25K in new sales.

Dragon-Slaying Stories are quick, but they pack a lot punch. We only need to know why you had to act, what you did to solve your problem and why it was a good thing to do.

You don’t need many Dragon-Slaying Stories after each past job listed on your resume. Two or three are plenty!

See all 5 ways and the complete Forbes article

The 25 Best Keywords for You in Your Job Search

By Susan P. Joyce

To avoid invisibility, the “right keywords” (for you and you target job) must be included in the “right places” (LinkedIn Professional Headline, LinkedIn Summary, etc.).

Those keywords are, literally, the key to being found in a search.

Keywords are the search terms used by people to find what they want in a search engine, social network, or applicant tracking system.

If a recruiter is searching for someone with experience in Microsoft Word, your name won’t appear in search results unless your social profile or resume contain those exact words.

Even if you have that experience, you are invisible unless your social profile or resume includes the term being searched, like “Microsoft Word” in our example.

Your 25 Best Keywords

Look through the list below and choose what is appropriate for you. Develop your keywords based on the following categories of information:

About You, Personally:


  • Your languages
    If you speak more than one language, make it clear the languages that you can speak. Also indicate your level of proficiency — from “native” through “basic” or “elementary” and whether you can read, write, and/or speak the languages.

Your Work History:


  • Current and previous job titles
    Your current and former job titles are also important keywords. Focus on the standard job titles that are used now by your target employers, particularly if current (or former) employer(s) used non-standard titles.

Your Professional Qualifications and Major Accomplishments:

Relevant laws and regulations
If experience, understanding, or training in specific laws or regulations is required for your target job — and you are qualified — include the names of these laws and regulations, like ITAR/EAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations / Export Administration Regulations) or Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) compliance.

See all 25 and the complete article



The 15 Best Job Boards You Need to Know About

Applying for jobs is one of the first steps in the job search. You want to make sure you find the best job opportunities out there and your resume is seen by as many hiring managers as possible. However, the internet is a huge beast to tackle so where do you start? You know you want to search for new job postings and post your resume on the best websites out there but which ones are they? To make your life easier I compiled a list of the top 15 job boards you need to know about during your job search:

ZipRecruiter is a dedicated job site that allows you to search over 4 million jobs across 500+ job boards. You are also able to have new job postings sent directly to your inbox and save job postings to come back to later. ZipRecruiter also created an algorithm that recommends new job opportunities to you, based off the posting you view, making your search easier and more efficient.

Simply Hired is a premier, career based website with over 6 million job positing across 24 countries. By pulling job listing from thousands of websites, Simply Hired’s vision is to connect job seekers and employers while indexing the millions of available job opportunities. Besides their website, Simply Hired also showcases their job posting through their mobile app, social networks, and blog.

Indeed is one of the world’s largest job sites, allowing you to search millions of newly posted jobs from thousands of different websites. Popular in over 50 different countries, Indeed has over 180 million unique visitors every month. Indeed pulls newly posted jobs from across the web making it a great tool to search job opportunities that you may not have discovered otherwise.

USAJobsis the Federal government’s official job board. Here you can find thousands of new job opportunities across hundreds of organizations and federal agencies. USAJobs is completely free and available to everyone, giving you the opportunity to search for new jobs by agency, job type, location, or salary range.

See all 15 job boards and the complete NewCareer101 article