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Avoid these 9 Common Resume Mistakes

Resume Writing mistakes to Avoid

With so many companies firing under performance and financial pressure, the need to keep your resume updated is more than ever. Avoid these common resume writing mistakes to get your precious interview chance.

Whether you are trying to write your first resume ( a fresher’s resume) , or you are a seasoned professional looking to land your next big opportunity, your resume is the first impression that you make on your recruiter. 

While writing a job winning resume seems like a daunting task to many , with a little bit of knowledge and the right approach, you can make sure your resume stands out from the rest.

However, it’s important to make sure that your resume is well written, professional, and error-free. Unfortunately, most job seekers make some common mistakes that prevent their resumes from standing out.

To help you ensure your resume is up to the mark and does not contain any common mistakes, here is a list of the most common mistakes to avoid when writing your resume.

1. Not Creating a Clear Format: 

A resume must be organized and easy to read. It should have an appropriate structure, with headings and subheadings that make it easier to scan. An appropriate whitespace makes your resume easier to read both for the recruiter and the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). 

2. Overly Long or Short: 

Your resume should contain enough information to make an impression, but not so much that it bores the reader. Aim for a one-page resume if you have fewer than 7 years of experience, and two pages if you have more. Try to cut short stuff and keep only relevant stuff if the resume is going over 2 pages. 

3. Not Tailoring Your Resume to Job Description: 

It is not enough to just have a generic resume. You must tailor it to the job you are applying for, making sure the content is relevant to the position and highlighting the skills and experience the employer is looking for.

Many candidates ask me frequently if they have to make a different resume for every job they apply to. Well, you can have a common base resume version , but you do have to make different versions for every job you apply to. 

If you do not have enough time to do that, you can take help of good resume writing professionals who can do that job for you. 

4. Not Proofreading It: 

Once you are done with your resume, make sure that you proofread it. Check for typos, grammar, and punctuation errors. Pay special attention to any contact information you have provided.

It is unbelievable how many candidates miss their critical chances just due to the wrong contact information presented on their resumes. 

5. Writing a desperate Objective Statement: 

A desperate objective statement like “seeking a challenging position with growth potential” should be avoided. Instead, write a Professional Summary that can showcase the skills that you bring to the table to your recruiter. 

It not only puts you on an equal position with your recruiter, but also helps the ATS rank your resume better for relevant jobs. 

6. Not Including Accomplishments: 

Don’t just list your job duties. Make sure to include any accomplishments that you have achieved in your roles. 

The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller” 

Steve Jobs

Remember – everyone wants to hear a great story, a generic account of events will just not cut it.  You can build a great story by using the Challenge-Action-Results framework. 

7. Not Being Specific: 

Make sure to be as specific as possible when describing your skills and experience. Don’t just say “Proficient in Excel” but rather “Proficient in Excel, with experience creating pivot tables and formatting charts”.

How to be more specific in your resume : 

  • Add Numbers and results
  • Add achievements
  • Add comparisons 

8. Not Following the Right Format: 

You can follow any format that you like ( reverse-chronological is recommended) . However, keep it consistent so that it helps both your recruiters and the ATS software read it easily.

9. Not making it ATS compliant: 

Most top companies get thousands of job applications everyday. As such, they are forced to use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to shortlist resumes. Most poorly written resumes get rejected at this level itself. 

Ensure that your resume is written in a simple, readable format with keywords that match the job that you want to get. This way, you can rank well above others on the ATS and get your precious chance to interview. 

Avoiding these common mistakes when writing your resume will ensure that your resume stands out from the competition and makes a great impression. 

Let me know if you have any specific questions in the comments. 

Wish you all the best for your job search. 


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With a trajectory spanning from engineer to Ex-President of Sales at Whitehat Jr, Gaurav Yadav is a dynamic leader and startup consultant. Armed with an MBA from the Indian School of Business, he scaled organizations to 5X+ multiples, hiring over 4000 team members. A strategic mind and influential CXO, Gaurav passionately guides careers and shapes startup growth strategies, leaving an indelible mark on every venture he touches.


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