I’m sure you have heard about resume mistakes like misspellings and poor grammar, or missing contact information. But in this blog and next week’s blog, I will address a few mistakes that are just as critical but less likely to be mentioned. Here are four common content mistakes to avoid:
- Resume mistake #1: Overdoing the adjectives and adverbs. You should definitely mention that one of your projects led to increased profits. But do not belabor the point with adjectives: “this impressive project created a far brighter future for the company with a vastly stronger increase in profits.” All those adjectives and adverbs (impressive, far brighter, vastly stronger) merely water down the point you want to make and take up space that could be used for facts: “this project increased profits by 25% year over year.”
- Resume mistake #2: Using pronouns. You know that the word “I” is banned from resumes; bullets start with verbs and the “I” is assumed. But avoid “my” and “mine” and “ours” also. When you speak of a system that improved the efficiency of the sales team, your readers know that the sales team belongs to your company; you do not need to say “the efficiency of our sales team.”
- Resume mistake #3: Substituting a word that is similar to the word you mean. For example, you use “complaint” instead of “compliant” or “lead” (present tense) instead of “led” (past tense).
- Resume mistake #4: Using nonstandard abbreviations. Use standard abbreviations (for example, Alaska is abbreviated AK, not AL) and be consistent (U.S., US, or United States). Be miserly in the use of industry and technical abbreviations as even within the same company, one abbreviation can mean different things depending on the context.
I help job seekers every day to make sure that their resumes avoid the obvious and not so obvious content mistakes that can wreck their chances for an interview. Contact me to help with your resume.