7 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Is it time to update your resume?

If you're looking for a new job, an updated resume is essential.

Or, if you're happy in your current job, update your resume anyway, so that you don't have to re-create 10 years of professional life when it is time to make an update.

Either way, you'll find a ton of advice online about creating the best resume.

As a former hiring manager who has hired 100's of people and reviewed 1000's of resumes, I have been shocked by what seemingly competent professionals chose to include (or not include on their resumes).

Many of these may seem innocent.

But, I want to tell you from the mind of a hiring manager, they are not innocent. These 7 red flags could result in your resume being tossed in the deleted folder even though you may be the very best person for the job.

This list of red flags may seem obvious and even humorous. Don’t overlook them, you’d be shocked at how many times I’ve seen these simple mistakes.

1️⃣ Remove your mailing address. Potential employers will calculate your commute and rule you in/out based on the assumption that you live too far away.

2️⃣ Triple check for typos. Don’t leave this to chance. It’s very easy to make sure your resume is grammatically correct and doesn’t have typos. If you have grammatical or spelling errors, the hiring manager will assume you aren’t detail-oriented.

3️⃣ Be careful to make your tenure clear. I’ve seen so many resumes where it looks like the candidate has a new job every year. This is a red flag that these candidates aren’t committed. However, after further investigation, the candidate was listing the multiple roles they’ve had in the SAME organization, or for the SAME consulting firm. Make this clear, so that you get credit for your length of service to one organization.

4️⃣ Don’t email your resume from your work account. Your current employer may know you're looking for a job, and supporting your transition. However, in no circumstances should you email your resume from your current work account. This is a red flag that you’re applying to jobs on your current employer’s time. Also, HR/the hiring manager will question your common sense.

5️⃣ Your resume is generalized and doesn’t match the job description. Many candidates dread tailoring their resume to the position. It’s tedious. Don’t skip this step. You will be quickly filtered out by the ATS (applicant tracking system) or HR if you send a generic resume. Take the time to submit a resume that fits the job.

6️⃣ Don’t use an personal, personal email address. Don’t use a personal email address that contains anything other than your name. Emails that include names of hobbies, interests, or inside jokes immediately raise a red flag about your professionalism and/or commitment. [email protected] could seem innocent but the hiring manager will wonder how much time you’ll actually be at work vs. catching a quick run.

7️⃣ Your resume is wordy. Resumes that are wordy (e.g. few bullets, sentences instead of phrases, more than 2 pages) alert the manager that the candidate may not have good communication skills. Spend some time simplifying, streamlining, and word-smithing your resume. One trick is to read it out loud to yourself and you'll uncover more that you can consolidate or re-word.

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