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.