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3 Rookie Resume Mistakes Qualified Candidates Must Avoid

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at October 25, 2021

Your resume can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you haven’t touched it in years or when you’ve looked at it so much all the words seem to blur together.

But, even after dozens of edits, you can easily overlook some things on your resume that can send the wrong signal. 

Yes, you may already know you can do the jobs you’re applying for, and you might even be confident that if you landed a job interview they’d see that too. 

But, since employers only spend about 6-7 seconds skimming a resume, you want to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to make the most of their limited attention span. Here are three rookie mistakes you must avoid on your resume if you want to show up as a qualified candidate and stand out from the pile.

Including your address on your resume:

While it may seem harmless, you don’t want a recruiter taking in how far you live or how long your commute might be to work before you’ve even had a chance to showcase why you’d be an asset to the team. 

To you, your address may have nothing to do with your ability to show up on time, execute, and deliver in your role. But, you don’t want to give anyone, especially a stranger who’s reading about you for the first time, any reason to think otherwise. So, it’s best to remove your address so that you don’t create an unnecessary bias that takes the focus off your skills and expertise.

Adding blurbs about your previous employers:

As a career coach, I’ve seen this trend quite often. Underneath their title, employer, and years of employment, the candidate will include a few sentences about their employer. But that is a rookie mistake because those companies aren’t applying for the job, you are. 

You only have a few seconds to show a recruiter or hiring manager why you should be interviewed for the role. Dedicating sections to previous employers takes away from the space you could be using to talk about your track record of results. So, rather than sharing irrelevant information about your previous employers, consider the specific elements about those companies that enhance your story and accomplishments, then infuse those details into your bullets instead. 

Using jargon only your co-workers would understand:

While you may know, without a doubt, that you have everything it takes to excel in the roles you desire, how you talk about your experience matters even more than how you think about your experience. This is especially true if you’re looking to change industries. When you use words that only people in your company or previous industry would understand, you send the message that you’re more useful to that industry than the one you’d like to be a part of next. 

For example, let’s say you’re a financial analyst in the oil and gas industry and would like to move to finance in the tech industry. If your resume constantly mentions oil and gas terms someone in tech wouldn’t understand, then even though you have the right experience in finance, they might assume that you won’t be able to excel in the tech industry. So, break up with the language that no longer applies to the new opportunities you’re seeking so that you can show up as the strong candidate you are for the roles you want. 

Tackling your resume doesn’t have to be super complicated, and by avoiding these rookie mistakes, you’ll be in much better shape to stand out and land more interviews and, ultimately, job offers you’ll love.

Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Sign up for her free dream job workshop.


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