CV Writing Tips

In a competitive job market , having an effective resume plays a vital role Even if you’re a qualified candidate, one seemingly small resume mistake could mean the difference between a job-landing interview and a missed opportunity. If you want your job application to make it past the gatekeepers and into the hiring manager’s hands, avoid these cringe-worthy resume-writing mistakes.


1. Spelling and grammatical errors

Editing your resume to eliminate spelling and grammatical errors might seem obvious; the fact that I’m even listing it might make most job applicants roll their eyes. Yet, this resume mistake topped the list of deal-breakers in the survey and was a hot topic among recruiters on Quora Try scanning your resume out to review or using a free tool like Grammarly to scan your resume for contextual spelling mistakes that spell check won’t pick up.

2. Incorrect or missing contact information

T he goal of a resume is to land you an interview. If you’re missing pertinent contact information, or the contact information you’ve included is incorrect, you’re making it difficult for recruiters to get in touch with you. Also, if you’re not detailed enough to provide the correct contact information, what does that say about how well you will do on the job if hired? Also, be wary of the location and format you use to list your contact information on your resume. Never add your contact information to the Header portion of a Word document or paste your contact information in as an image.

3. Using an unprofessional email address

Recall in college, high school, or even middle school those people who made fun of you for not being “original” when it came to your email address. Little did they know that, in order to land an interview, it’s helpful to have an email address that speaks to who you are and not to some alter ego of who you’d like to be. You don’t want a recruiter to overlook your glowing qualifications because he or she got hung up on “hipster.hottie” email address.

4. Including outdated or irrelevant information

If you have information that is outdated or irrelevant on your resume, your resume will likely go in the trash. Avoid including your age, hobbies, or marital status on your resume — this type of information says that you aren’t up to speed with today’s resume-writing standards. It also sets you up to be eliminated for discriminatory reasons related to items such as age and gender. Typically, unless it’s relevant to the job, it doesn’t belong on your resume.

5. Failure to demonstrate and quantify results

A recruiter wants to see the results you’ve achieved in past positions, as it speaks to the potential you have to do well in the role for which they’re trying to fill. Results are best described as quantifiable results — business growth numbers, improved retention stats, increased sales, proven return on investment, and so on. Without demonstrating or providing quantifiable results, it might appear that you had “responsibilities,” yet didn’t take initiative or achieve actual results.

Annoying buzzwords and/or obvious keyword stuffing

It’s important to include keywords from the job posting in your resume in order to make it past the applicant tracking software recruiters use to scan and weed out unqualified candidates. However, make sure you’re incorporating keywords in a way that sounds natural. If you deliberately stuff keywords into your resume or use a bunch of annoying buzzwords, it will be painfully obvious to the recruiter — not to mention a big turnoff. Use keywords wisely and incorporate them into your resume so they make sense and flow naturally. Consider having someone else read your resume to see if any of the keywords you’ve used stand out in an unforgiving way.

7. Being too generalized or not customizing to match the job listing

You don’t need to do a full overhaul of your resume for every job application you send. You do, however, need to tweak your resume to align with every job for which you apply. A seasoned recruiter will be able to tell if you’re using a cookie-cutter resume or not. In addition, customizing your resume with appropriate keywords from the job posting will ensure your application doesn’t get tossed. .

8. Repetitive words or phrases used in multiple job descriptions

When a recruiter reads the same words or phrases on a resume, it becomes redundant. It can also come across as if you didn’t care enough to put the effort into using a variation of action-oriented words and being specific for each position listed.

9. Including a headshot

Unless you’re an actor, you’re converting your resume to a CV for an international job application, or there’s another clear reason as to why you’d include a headshot on your resume, leave it off. It’s not common practice in the U.S. to include a headshot and could come across as egotistical or of poor judgment if you do include one.

10. Customize your resume for each job you apply to

The last and most important thing to remember when creating a good resume is to customize it for every job to which you apply. Different job postings are going to have different keywords, different job duties listed, and so on. Appealing to each individual employer’s needs and job requirements is the best strategy for getting your application noticed.