Hello, Trash Can: 5 Common Mistakes in a Mediocre Resume

Trash CanLike many job seekers, you may have received a lackluster response rate to your job applications. With all the “economic recovery” news, this likely leaves you wondering: is the job market still to blame for the lack job interviews?

This theory is plausible. However, a more likely cause:  employers just don’t find what they need in your resume.

To help determine if your resume is to blame for your job interview famine, take a quick look at these five resume mistakes:

1: An Undistinguished Introduction or Profile

If the introductory statement or summary of skills on your resume could describe someone else — anyone else besides you — then you haven’t branded or customized your introductory statement well enough. Add your most important skills and accomplishments, related to the position, that will help you stand out from your competition.

2: An Omitted Job Target

Neglecting to include a job title or target job position somewhere in the beginning of your resume is making the employer guess which position you’re applying to… and what you’re qualified to do. Recruiters already have too many resumes to review. They’re simply not going to take extra time guessing about the missing information you should have provided.

See also: “Your Resume Should NEVER Have an Objective Statement

3: Schizophrenic Keywords

A core competency/summary of skills section that lists keywords in bulleted form at the top of the resume is great. Unless, of course, those keywords bounce around between multiple industries and positions. In that case, you’re just confusing the hiring manager. And confusing resumes end up in the trash can. Adjust your keyword list to target, as closely as possible, each position to which you send your resume.

4: Unremarkable, Uninspiring Content

Even the best performance and greatest results look unexceptional when written in passive terms. Avoid the trap of writing responsibility-based content. Instead, position yourself as the desirable candidate by writing “challenge, action and results” statements that prove your value and significance.

And… remember to quantify accomplishments!

Show me, the recruiter, (don’t just tell me and expect me to translate) how your experience applies to the job. Be sure to include numbers, percentage signs and dollar signs related to your achievements. If you don’t have numbers, tell me about some specific major achievements. Examples:

  • Generated $1.2M in revenue from new accounts in fiscal year 2012-2013
  • Secured accounts with Fortune 100 firms, including Google and Proctor & Gamble

5: Insufficient Personal Branding

Sought-after candidates are those who best market their knowledge, skills, and abilities to the needs of the employer. Submit resumes that reveal your ability to surpass the need of the employer. By doing so, you’re positioning yourself as the preferred candidate.

I hope you’ll take these five points and review your resume for opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, the goal is to create a resume that generates interviews for the position and company that most excites you!

Have other examples of mistakes that result a mediocre resume? Share them with the community using the comment section below!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Great Resumes Fast!



Jessica-Holbrook-HernandezAbout the Author: A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. With more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, she has developed innovative and proven resume development, and personal branding strategies to generate powerful results for clients.

As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted on CNN.com, Monster.com, Job Talk America radio, SmartBrief, International Business Times, and more. Jessica has her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Florida. Contact Jessica on Twitter!



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