We grade hundreds of resumes every month… which means we know how to spot mistakes. Watch Let’s Eat, Grandma founder Chris Villanueva have a discussion with career coach Jeff Altman about common resume mistakes, and then get your resume fixed up!
One of the biggest challenges of writing a good resume is keeping up with conventions.
Here’s the thing: resumes are subjective. Because every industry, job, and candidate is different, there aren’t many hard-and-fast rules.
HOWEVER, there are some ideas about resumes out there that are just. plain. wrong.
In this video, our founder Chris talks with career coach and former recruiter Jeff Altman (“The Big Game Hunter”) about common resume mistakes and myths, and how to fix them.
(Scroll down for summaries of the top 4 common resume mistakes discussed!)
4 Common Resume Mistakes
#1: Only Sending Out One Version of Your Resume
MYTH: “Your best bet is to send a resume out to as many jobs as you can.”
This is a huge pet peeve for both Chris and Jeff. Too often they have clients who aren’t getting interviews even though “they’ve sent out their resume to dozens of companies.”
The problem is right in the complaint though: they’re sending out ONE resume to DOZENS of jobs!
While sending a resume to as many companies as possible sounds convenient, it’s actually a waste of time. Since most job postings receive hundreds of applicants, sending out a “one-size-fits-all” resume will not land you a job.
Instead, tailor your resume to every job posting you apply for, mentioning the skills and qualifications exactly as they appear in each job description.
#2: Flaws in Design
MYTH: “Design doesn’t matter on a resume – all that matters is your experience.”
Some people think that ATS keywords are all that will get your resume read. Some think all that matters is who you know and what companies you’ve worked for. They’re all wrong.
The design of your resume is the first thing a hiring manager will notice. If your resume isn’t easy for them to read, they won’t be happy.
A cramped, confusing, overly long design will make a bad first impression, no matter how experienced you are. Make sure your resume looks as professional as you know you are.
#3: Not Filling Out Those Awful Application Forms
MYTH: “Don’t bother filling out those redundant online applications. It’s the same info from your resume, and that’s what they’ll read anyway.”
You’ve probably applied for a job online and submitted your resume… only to find that you have to fill out the same information exactly as it appears on your resume again on the next screen.
This kind of monotonous torture ranks somewhere between working late on a Friday and being trapped in an elevator with your mother-in-law forever.
Believe us, guys. We feel your pain. But you need to buckle down and fill out these redundant applications as thoroughly as your own resume.
Why? Hiring managers have told us that these application forms are important sources of ATS keywords – just as important as your resume, in fact!
If these applications don’t have the same information as what’s on your resume, you might not get filtered through the company’s system.
#4: Only Sending In Your Resume Online
MYTH: “Everything is online nowadays; post your resume to every job board you can!”
In theory, it sounds like a great strategy. It’s like applying to tons of jobs at once!
However, while job boards can be part of a holistic job search strategy, some advocate for them as a necessity, or the “best” way to land a job today.
This is wrong for two reasons:
#1: As mentioned above, an effective resume is tailored towards one specific job. You can cast a wide net by posting to job boards, but you can’t pull off the targeted assault that will position you as the best candidate for your desired job.
#2: Most jobs are still filled through networking. Statistics typically show that 60%–70% of all jobs in the U.S. aren’t landed through online job applications (most of them aren’t even formally posted).