Is Your Resume Doing Its Job?: Common Resume Mistakes

3 Oct

Resume, resume, and resume. Something every college student rewrites over and over to tailor to perfection. Well, at least I do. But really, is that perfect resume doing its job? Here are three of the most common resume mistakes listed on the top three business magazines : Boston.com, Forbes.com, and Monster.com

  • Grammar, grammar, and grammar:  I know, you think, ‘grammar mistake? Are you kidding?’ Just like you, I thought my resume was grammar perfect and what a surprise. My kind friend helped me with proofreading and found about ten small grammar mistakes. Be sure to use spell check and grammar check and have another person proofread your resume.
  • WIIFY (What‘s In It For You)?:  Remember, you want to let recruiters know how you can benefit the company, not how wonderful you are. Write how your past experiences and skills are relevant to the position and what makes you a better candidate than others. Show them that you know about the industry, the company, and the position. Don’t write what a wonderful person you are, because they simply don’t care.
  • Accomplishments not Responsibilities:  When people write resumes, they write their job descriptions. Yes, it is important to let the recruiters know what you did. However, telling them what you accomplished is far more important. For example, it is one thing to write “I assisted senior analysts” and another to write “I assisted senior analysts to analyze the financial and historical information of two investment portfolios. The investments produced more than 30% return in 2010.” Use numbers, details, and results.

Remember these three rules the next time you submit your resume. Who knows? Maybe this time, you will get that phone call you have never received before.

by Christine Chung

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2 Responses to “Is Your Resume Doing Its Job?: Common Resume Mistakes”

  1. Jeff Lin October 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Christine,

    I appreciate how you summarized three common resume mistakes and how to fix them. I have made multiple versions of my resume now and still discover grammar and wording changes that I make each time I edit them. Another important aspect of the resume that many students disregard is format and appearance.

    -Jeff Lin

    • Casey Hochberg October 11, 2011 at 12:20 am #

      Christine,
      I appreciate your appreciation for grammar! I also loved the WIIFY acronym, it’s a great way to remember to put together multiple versions to cater to potential employers’ needs.

      Jeff,
      I continually revise my phrasing as well. It’s hard to say everything I want to in such few words. It’s so true that the format and appearance have an impact. It almost gives a resume personality. I’d be interested in seeing how other students organize and arrange theirs…

      Casey Hochberg

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