5 Common Resume Mistakes
1. Not ATS Compliant
Most large employers today utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) as an effective process to find good applicant’s resumes. As a candidate, ensuring your resume is optimized for these systems is non-negotiable. Below are three tips for non-compliant resume elements for you to avoid.
Using Fancy Resume Templates
Before your resume makes it to a human, it needs to be optimized for the Applicant Tracking System. Fancy Resume Templates can disrupt the readability of the ATS, or even worse, have a difficult to interpret text format that will cause your resume to score low.
Tables and graphs help to organize and convey information. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true for an Applicant Tracking System. It is best to find ways to organize information in a simple, text-based format that focuses on text with an emphasis on relevant keywords.
Using complex formatting
To play nice with the Applicant Tracking Systems, it is best to use straight forward formatting. Avoid fancy fonts, headings, colors and other non-value adding functionality for the best results.
2. Objective Statements
Once an essential part of all resumes, objective statements are now a thing of the past. It is assumed that is your objective by applying for the job. Resume templates across the internet still feature objective statements, so don’t be fooled. Instead, use your valuable space to detail a concise professional summary in a paragraph format.
3. Resume Borders
Avoid borders on your resume. Every company programs their Applicant Tracking System in different ways, and no two are the same. While some may be able to differentiate a border, others will not. With borders, it is best to play it safe and steer clear of them and use other, non-complex formatting to convey your information.
4. Listing References
While your network is as important as ever, listing references on your resume is a waste of space. LinkedIn lists references in their article “7 Things to Cut from your Resume,” as something to be left off. If requested, you are better off providing a list of references as a separate document. Many application systems require this before you can finish applying. Try utilizing the space to list skills or more detailed professional history.
5. Spelling and Grammar Errors
A simple way to lose credibility is to share an electronic document with errors. Nearly all word processors come standard with tools to help identify and correct them. Proofreading your resume is one of the easiest and most effective tools, and it doesn’t cost a dime, but it can be seen as laziness or apathy. The latest version of Microsoft Word comes with Read Aloud functionality for an easy way to listen.
For a simple, English class style refresher before writing your resume, Monster.com’s InsideTech blog shares “4 Grammar/Spelling Pitfalls to Avoid.” Tips include Versions of Words (they’re, their, there), Bad Grammar, Tenses, and Phrases.
A Good Resume
What makes a good resume?
Ask five different people this question, and we can almost guarantee you will get five different answers. Our stance is that an effective resume is a resume that generates results, such as getting you an interview. Empire resume has over 20 years of experience creating resumes; in that time our experience has told us that a good resume will contain the following:
- Contain Proper Formatting
- Be Keyword Rich
- Include a Resume Summary
- List Applicable Achievements
- Be Two Pages or Less
For additional information on each of these topics, check out the full article “5 Elements of a Great Resume,” which explains each in greater detail.
Good skills to put on a resume
The skills listed on your resume should pertain to the job you are applying for. You may be able to find those skills by carefully examining the job posting for keywords. Your skills should be comprehensive and also complement each other. Take the time to write as many skills as you can think of down. Try asking others in regards to what they observe about you. Ultimately your skills should help detail a complete picture of you, for example, if you are a software developer, in addition to mentioning your technical skills, be sure to mention soft skills like communication, management, and others.
What does a good resume look like?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; however, when it comes to resumes, it is not a beauty contest. A professional resume that looks good is a readable one. In other words, the person on the receiving end should be able to quickly and easily digest your information, qualifications, and other relevant data. Our resume samples page contains examples in many different formats for you to consider.
When deciding on what your resume will look like, our president, Phil Gold, said the following on the topic, “Your resume is a marketing document designed to get you an interview, period! It must clearly and concisely showcase the skills, qualifications, and value you bring to employers.”
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. When Maria is not working, she enjoys reading and spending quality time with her family.