5 Common Mistakes on Resumes and Cover Letters

Your resume is your personal marketing document. Most of the time it’s the only document a recruiter and hiring manager have in front of them when deciding if you move to the next step in the hiring process.

If you’ve made any of the following mistakes there’s a good chance you’re not going to get the call for the interview.

Mistake # 1 Poor Grammar and Misspelled Words

Recruiters and hiring managers know that not everyone is a wordsmith. If you have one or two incorrectly spelled words you’ll probably still be considered. If your resume is filled with a lot of misspelled words you’ll be screened out of the process. Numerous misspelled words or poor grammar could signal a lack of attention to detail.

How to Avoid: Use the spell check and grammar check tools. Read your resume out loud. Reading out loud will help to identify any odd sounding sentences.

Mistake # 2 Forgetting to Save Edits

You’ve put a lot of effort into editing your resume and finally it’s ready to go. There’s just one problem. You forgot to save all the tracked changes. I’m not talking about one or two minor changes. What I’m talking about is an entire document saved with edits still showing. Submitting a resume like this could also signal you’re someone who lacks attention to detail.

How to Avoid: Before hitting that submit button on the application, check to make sure you’re sending the proper resume.

Mistake # 3 Including the Wrong Company Name or Person’s Name in the Cover Letter

Addressing your cover letter to the wrong person or including the wrong company name will get you screened out of the process right away.

How to Avoid: Proofread your cover letter to make sure you have the correct names. Then, before hitting the submit button recheck the documents you’ve attached to your application and make sure they contain the correct information.

Mistake # 4 Ten Page Resumes

If your resume is a novel, it won’t get read. Writing a long resume could signal that you have a difficult time getting to the point. We live in a society where there is so much information we don’t have time to read everything. You need to make sure that you sell yourself but that doesn’t mean you have to include every detail about every job.

How to Avoid: Read the responsibilities of the job description and then include on your resume only that work experience as it relates to those job responsibilities. If you have a lot of jobs, I encourage candidates to list the experience for their five most recent positions and then list only the company name, job title, and dates worked for any remaining jobs.

Mistake # 5 No Contact Information

If a company doesn’t have the ability to get in touch with you guess what, you’re not going to get the job. Make it easy for a recruiter and hiring manager to reach you. Recruiters may not take the time to try and find your contact information if they have plenty of resumes to review.

How to Avoid: Include your full address, email and phone number on your resume. Your cover letter should contain your phone number and email address.

The goal when submitting your resume is to get an interview. If you have any of the mistakes listed above, you have a higher probability of getting screened out of the process.

Don’t miss out on what could have been the best job ever.

Proofread your resume and then make sure you’re uploading the correct documents. A few extra minutes on the front end could just land you the job of your dreams.

Best of Luck!

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