Resume Deal Breakers


You invest so much time into your resume.  You spend hours writing it and customizing it for each position and once it’s ready, you spend a lot of time finding places to send it.  If there are problems with your resume, all of this time will be wasted because your resume will be quickly discarded.  Here is a list of common mistakes that job seekers make with their resumes.  By eliminating these errors on your resume, you can make sure that it gets the consideration that it deserves:

Proofreading errors.  Spelling and grammar errors on your resume are a big problem.  Many employers will immediately discard any resume with those types of mistakes.  They may view mistakes on your resume as a lack of professionalism or they may make the assumption that your work is sloppy.  If you have a few people proofread your resume, you can avoid this problem and keep the employer focused on your skills and experience.

Being vague.  Resumes that are overly general and lack specifics are weak.  You can make your resume a lot more impressive to potential employers just by including a few more details.  The statement “Served customers in a professional manner” is vague.  Instead say something like, “Improved customer satisfaction ratings by 30%”.  Try to remember the feedback that you received from your previous jobs and add in details whenever possible.

Not customizing.  If you are submitting the same resume to every employer, you are probably not getting the results you should be.  When you customize your resume you use language that resonates with each individual employer and you are able to show how your skills and experience make you a great fit for each specific job.  Since a lot of job seekers don’t do it, customizing is a way that you can stand out from your competition.

Not visually appealing.  It’s gotta be pretty!  Since your resume will probably be in a pile of a lot of other resumes, it needs to be pleasing to the eye.  If it looks good, the hiring manager will give it a little more time.  The layout should be attractive and you need to have enough white space.  Also, make sure that the headings and the formatting look good.  It may be worth having an employment counselor or someone in your network review your resume and give you some feedback.

If you have been sending out your resume for a while without much response, that is a good sign that you need to make a change.  You may find that it only takes a few small adjustments to your resume to get your phone ringing again!  Good luck!

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of iosphere at


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