Whether you are looking for a job for your first time or hoping to change your career path, you should know that writing a good resume or CV is of high importance.
Moreover, it is also important to have in mind that employers tend to reject applicants in case they find some horrible mistakes in resumes and CVs.
A recent study found some of the CV and resume mistakes that make a real impact, as the 2800 surveyed employers identified the following mistakes as a reason to reject the job application:
1. Incorrect Contact Information
Sometimes job seekers send in their resumes and CVs without checking if their contact information is correct and up-to-date. If you do this, hiring managers and employers won’t be able to get a hold of you.
To solve this problem, make sure your phone number and email address are correct. The survey found that 93% of the employers want you to include your phone number so that you can be reached easily.
2. Spelling & Grammar Mistakes
Imagine reading a resume that says “untill” instead of “until”, “acceptible” instead of “acceptable”, or “equiptment” instead of “equipment”. Cringey, right? The surveyed employers think the same, as 75% of them identify spelling mistakes, along with bad grammar, as a reason to reject the applicant altogether.
Your resume may have some typos, but you have to make sure to proofread and use spellcheck before you submit your application. As far as grammar goes, read your application out loud and have a friend look at it. This way you can make sure you have used the right choice of “there, their, or they’re”, and more.
3. Listing Roles From Oldest To Latest
If you put your oldest roles at the top of your experience section, 61% of the employers in the survey admitted they are likely to reject you.
They want to know how you were getting on at your last job position and what your current skills and knowledge are. After all, you have probably progressed since your first job.
That is why you should always put your latest experiences at the top while also giving them the most detail. Once you have done that, you can move on to older experiences.
4. Using Cliché Descriptions
CVs and resumes are full of meaningless clichés, such as “hard worker”, “working well under pressure”, or “team player”. These descriptions are a mistake according to 60% of the employers who took the survey. They admit that applicants who use these cliché descriptions get rejected.
Instead of saying that you work well under pressure, try to show how that is true. For example, you can show how you managed a crisis at your previous job and what you achieved by doing it.
5. Writing A Long Resume
Job seekers often make this mistake, thinking it is a good idea to write many pages of a resume. However, this is wrong for several reasons. First and foremost, employers and hiring managers don’t have a lot of time on their hands. One in two of the polled employers admitted that they take only between 1 and 5 minutes to review a resume.
Resumes should usually be around a page long, two at most. The majority of the employers who participated in the survey (57%) said they would reject a resume that is longer than 2 pages. This depends on how many years of experience you have. If you are an experienced job seeker with over 10 years of experience, you can make it a two-pager. Otherwise, stick to just one page.
6. Untailored CVs & Resumes
Trying to find a job can be a job in itself and will require a lot of effort and time. Job seekers often think it might be a good idea to send the same resume for many different job openings.
The one-size-fits-all way of applying for jobs leaves a bad impression on 47% of the polled employers. They admit that they are likely to reject such applications.
You should tailor the resume to each job position you are applying for. To do so, you can use the keywords from the job description advert and show which of the required skills you possess to let them know that you might be their perfect candidate.
7. Multiple Fonts & Poor Layout
A jungle of different font colours, font sizes, and unreadable chunks of text will put many employers off reading the content of the CV or the resume.
Precisely, the survey found that 46% of the employers might reject your resume or CV if you use more than one font. Instead, choose one font that is easy to read, such as Calibri or Times New Roman. Moreover, make sure to use its standard size.
Another thing to keep in mind is the layout of the CV or resume. Make sure that every section is easy to spot on the page and that there is enough white space on it. Otherwise, around one-third of the employers stated they might reject a resume or a CV with a poor layout.
8. Not Showing Accomplishments
Apart from listing skills, it is also important to show what you have accomplished while embodying a role in a company where you worked beforehand. This means that you should not only tell your potential employer what your duties were but also show them what you have achieved at that job position.
A good way to approach this is to use numbers and figures to quantify the impact you had. The study found that 43% of employers might reject you if you fail to show your impacts and accomplishments.
9. Mentioning Unrelated Skills
Almost one in three surveyed employers (28%) state that resumes with unrelated skills leave a bad impression on them.
Moreover, around one-fifth of them (21%) want you to show how you obtained unrelated skills if you do end up listing them on the CV or resume. Another important thing here is not to lie as employers can catch you out at some point.
10. Justification For Leaving Jobs
Providing reasons for leaving any job is not something your employer should know. However, 25% of them want to know why you quit that job after a short period of time.
On the other hand, it is best to leave this out of your resume and include any reasons in your cover letter. Another possibility is that you can tell that to the hiring manager at the job interview if they want to know.
Among other tips on how to land a job, your resume or CV can always help you get your dream job if you dedicate enough time to writing it properly. By using the above-mentioned tips, you can easily fix many of the important mistakes that usually make employers reject an applicant.
Mateja Vukomanović is a Senior Writer for OfficeNeedle, a website dedicated to business topics and owners who want to start and improve their businesses. She writes articles, does research, and conducts studies to learn about the changes in the field.