7 Worst Resume Mistakes (That We See Way Too Much)

So you want to land your dream job in 2022 and you’re curious which resume mistakes scream “Don’t Hire Me!”.

The good news: you’re on the right track. By researching resume mistakes, you’re showing initiative. The bad news: while some resume mistakes are obvious (spelling mistakes on your resume, really?), others are not. But don’t stress. Knowledge is power and by knowing what to look for, you’re in better shape to have a resume that works for all the right reasons.

Let’s talk about the worst resume mistakes that recruiters see far too often, and how to avoid the dreaded ‘No Way’ pile that rarely sees the light of day.

#1 Not Demonstrating How Your Skills Were Used

As well as having a space to list your skills, they should also be highlighted throughout your resume, specifically in work experience and education. In these sections, you want to show the reader how you demonstrated skills and how that lead to a positive outcome or an achievement. These skills should also be relevant to the role you are applying for.

Including figures when discussing skills is a bonus!

Try This: For Leadership, you don’t necessarily have to be in a managerial position to demonstrate this skill. Guiding a team-based project, training or mentoring new hires or leading meetings all illustrate leadership skills.

#2 Being Duty Driven Instead of Accomplishment Driven

To catch the attention of a reader, your resume should focus on the accomplishments you achieved rather than simply stating the duties you had. Employers are not hugely interested in whether you were able to perform basic tasks for your role, however will often look out for phrases that prove you have a track record of accomplishments.

Remove phrases or words such as “Responsible for” “Duties included” and replace them with how you stood out from other employees, how you dealt with and overcame challenges, what results were achieved and how the company benefited.

Try This: Replace “Took inbound phone calls” for “Exceeded targets by resolving 200+ customer queries and complaints per week by phone and email.”

#3 Using An Unprofessional Email Address

We’re glad your college days were fun, but using ‘togadude@beerchugger.com’ won’t pass muster with most recruiters or their clients. The same goes for your voicemail. It needs to be polite, professional, and something that won’t make employers cringe.

Try This: Try a Gmail account with your full name, and a number if that address is already taken. For example, joesmith281@gmail.com. Be sure your voicemail has your name and phone number and promises you’ll return the caller’s message as promptly as possible – and in a professional manner.

#4 Listing Outdated Or Irrelevant Information

Hobbies are great, and it’s just as impressive that you’ve got a lot of experience. But your resume should only list your most recent and relevant information for the position for which you’re applying.

Try This: Brevity is next to godliness on a resume. Purge your resume of anything that doesn’t show you’re the employer’s dream candidate. That means no hobbies that aren’t relevant, no age, gender, or marital status, and try to keep all your listed experience within the past 15 years.

#5 Not Quantifying Results

Your resume tells your dream employer that you’re their dream employee. It should be relevant, concise, and tell said dream employer by exactly how much you improved a specific metric.

For example, “I helped the sales manager”; resume mistake.

“Increased revenue by 86% in three months with Google Ads”. Now we’re talking!

Try This: See above.

#6 Being Too General

We see a lot of resumes here at STRIVE Recruitment. While it’s easy to submit a resume that has the “one-size-fits-all” approach and hope for the best, you’re going to have a lot more success if you tailor your resume to the job you want. Don’t be that lazy job hunter that uses a cookie-cutter template and hands it over. Roll up your sleeves and put a little elbow grease into it.

Try This: Tell us about your dream job. Then list specific positions, achievements, and credentials that tell us why you’re the best person to fill that role.

#7 Including a Headshot (On Your Resume)

Are you good-looking? Super! But unless you’re an actor, applying for an international job with visa requirements, or have a good reason for doing so, it’s a resume mistake to include a headshot with your resume because it shows poor judgment and may come across as egotistical.

On a related note, when job-hunting, take a good look at your social media, be it Instagram, Facebook – anywhere you post content. Think about deleting any pictures that portray you in an unprofessional manner.

Try This: Take your headshot off your resume and put it on your LinkedIn profile – where it is much more suitable. Be sure the picture is clear, professional, and one in which you’ve dressed appropriately (no beer togas, sorry). Your LinkedIn picture is your initial impression. Your experience and resume are what backs it up.

Talk To Us!

We’re not trying to take the joy out of life when we talk about these common resume mistakes. Just the opposite – at STRIVE Recruitment we believe a job is more than a paycheque. It’s something that enhances your quality of life, helps progress your career and ultimately makes your time in this world more rewarding.

We’re on your team here at STRIVE Recruitment. And we don’t want resume mistakes to cost you that job – you know – the one you’ve wanted for most of your life.

Are you still reading? Talk to us. We’re always happy to chat and learn more about you, view your resume, and yes, even help correct resume mistakes and set you up in a stronger position.

Don’t settle for any job. Let us help you find the one you really want.