money·2 min read

5 Resume Mistakes That’ll Have Employers Saying ‘Thank You, Next’

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Design: theSkimm | Photo: Getty Images
May 19, 2022

On a job hunt, your resume is the best way to stand out from the crowd. But there are a few minor mistakes that can lead to major setbacks in your search for that dream job. Here’s what not to do if you want to land that interview.

Yikes. What's the #1 resume mistake I should look out for?

Check your spelling and grammar. Especially if your resume says you’re detail-oriented. Because even a minor spelling error can hurt your chances to land that new role.

Got it. What about graphics, should I include those on my resume?

No need to add colorful photos, icons, and fancy graphics. They tend to become a distraction. And your audience is super busy recruiters who prefer easy reading.According to research from job-search site Ladders, you have roughly seven seconds to wow a recruiter before they move on to the next candidate. Stick to succinct bullet points, in chronological order. In black and white. 

How specific am I supposed to be on my resume?

The more specific the better. Stats and figures can help push you to the next round of the hiring phase. So if your work history is generalized, it’s time to make some edits. Think: instead of “I managed a team,” note how many people you managed.

How many pages should my resume be?

Unless you’re going for an executive role, try to stick to a one-page resume. Remember: six seconds. But the length of your resume also depends on your level of experience. Hint: If you have five to 10 years of experience in a field directly related to the job you’re applying for, it’s ok to extend your resume to two pages. But it should never be book-length.

Let’s talk format — should I send my resume as a PDF?

A PDF or Word document is usually acceptable, unless the employer requests a different format. If no preference is given, go with a PDF.

theSkimm

Applying for a job can be super competitive. And your resume can make or break your chances. But just a few tweaks can help you land your dream job.  

Skimm'd by Dae Cason, Megan Beauchamp, Kamaron McNair, Stacy Rapacon, and Alicia Valenski
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