Avoid These Resume Mistakes that Get Yours Tossed in the Trash

Job seekers often lament job application software, assuming that some sort of online screening tool either cuts them out of the process, or sends their resume into the technological abyss. Typically, that’s not true, and you can read more on that here. However, there are some key resume mistakes that absolutely will remove you from the running immediately. Many of these are no-brainers, but as a recruiter, I see these mistakes made all the time.

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Remember, both internal HR recruiting teams and external agency recruiters are FLOODED with resumes and cover letters. Daily. And they have hiring managers who are clamoring for candidates. Meanwhile, at the same time, these hiring managers are also pleading for minimized and highly-accurate resume traffic. “Give me more and give me less!” That means that recruiters desperately need a way to reduce the submittal pile to something manageable and targeted. So, as they first plow through the massive collection of interested parties, they are looking for the fastest way to eliminate the greatest number of unlikely options. So, if you’re making one of these simple – yet critical – resume errors below… Boom! You’re an easy one to toss in the “no thanks” pile.

  • Spelling/grammar errors – This first one is easily avoided. Every word processing software has a spelling/grammar check function. Just pay attention to the red squiggly lines and “caution” icons! Or cut and paste your resume into Grammarly or Ginger (browser extensions) to double-check your work. Have a friend or a parent – or even a stranger – review your resume. Get another set of eyes on that thing. Maybe even read your resume out loud. Yep. Out loud. Look and then listen for missing words or glaring structural errors.
  • No contact info – Really? You’ve got your name nice and big at the top, but no phone number or email address? How is someone going to reach you? Listing the URL of your LinkedIn or your website or your online portfolio isn’t enough. Make it SUPER easy for recruiters to reach you, or they won’t go to the trouble.
  • Missing numbers –  If you work in sales or marketing, show some data. PLEASE! Prove that you deserve the interview by displaying the mastery of your craft on paper. Particularly for revenue-related roles, the proof is in the activity- and productivity-related metrics. Recruiters will stop in their tracks and contact you if you “wow” them with stats. The key here is to demonstrate numerically your accomplishments, not just talk about yourself in flowery prose.
  • No customization – This is one of the most common resume mistakes. Do not send the same vanilla resume and cover letter to every single hiring manager. Instead, take the time to review the job description as well as the company “About Us” and/or “Mission/Values” pages. Then go back to your resume and weave in some of those featured keywords from the company’s position write-up and website. Use your future employer’s own internal love language when you are talking to them via a digital file.
  • No visual appeal – We’re not saying you need to be a graphic designer, but your resume should look appealing. Make recruiters stop and pay attention. Try to do something other than single-spaced Times New Roman in 12-point font. There are a million ways to do mix it up. Download some free templates online or via your favorite word processing tool. Drop in some pics, charts, etc. Hire a resume writer who can spot your resume mistakes. Email Barfield Revenue Consulting and ask for help. Any/all of these options will make a marked difference.

Is your resume already fabulous and ready to go? Contact us so we can connect you with your next incredible sales, marketing, or client/customer success job here in the Triangle!

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