Anyone looking for a job these days knows the path to an interview is paved with more than its share of challenges. The stepping stones include networking, résumé prep, social media optimization, pre-interviews—all this even before you get to the interview.
The most challenging step for many is résumé preparation. That’s because CVs are screened by a bot and often by a time-pressed recruiter. If you fail to impress, it could be curtains.
Fortunately, there’s a new study that highlights résumé mistakes to avoid. It was done by Mateja Vukomanović of OfficeNeedle, a site that offers guidance in best business practices. Below are the biggest résumé mistakes identified by the 2,800 employers interviewed:
1. POOR GRAMMAR OR TYPOS
A full 75% of employers said they would reject a candidate if they found grammatical errors or typos in the résumé.
Proofread your résumé carefully to fix grammatical errors and typos. As for spelling, don’t rely entirely on spell check. While it catches misspelled words, it won’t pick up wrong words, like “their” when you mean “there.” Also have someone else with a good eye look it over. You wouldn’t want a typo to keep you from your dream job.
2. EXCESSIVE LENGTH
A majority of employers polled (57%) said they would likely reject a résumé that’s longer than two pages. That’s no surprise, since the OfficeNeedle study shows that half of employers take between one and five minutes to review a résumé, and a quarter take less than one minute.
If you’ve had a short career span, keep your résumé to one page. For a longer career, two pages should do, but don’t go beyond that. If you’re finding it hard to compress your résumé into that shorter length, you have provided too much detail.
3. DOESN’T SHOW ACHIEVEMENTS
A third résumé mistake, according 43% of those interviewed, is failure to show the impact you’ve had in the various jobs you’ve held.
It’s too easy to describe the responsibilities you’ve had rather than the results you’ve produced. Instead, provide clear measurements of your successes. For example, if you’re in sales, you might say that you brought in 10 new clients for a total revenue of $2 million per year. If you’re in HR, you could mention that you designed a new onboarding system that doubled retention. If you are in manufacturing say that you improved quality control by 15%. These impact statements should be the bulleted items in each job description. The more you have, the better you’ll look...