10 Resume Mistakes that Have You Landing in The Trashbin

Jul 05, 2021
I’ve seen these mistakes for years as a hiring manager in the corporate world and also as a career and life coach.
To get to the root of this I must start with our upbringing. We are taught as children that talking about ourselves is boastful and wrong. This little lesson puts us in paralysis when we are forced to speak about ourselves. I’m not blaming our parents because we shouldn’t boastfully speak about ourselves at all! We should share with people how we can help them and that’s exactly what you’re about to learn.
I am going to run through the 10 most common resume mistakes that will get your resume thrown away or deleted faster than you can finish this sentence.
Doubtful Words
The use of such words as “hard worker”, “loyal”, “honest”, “on time”, or “fast learner” should not appear on your resume. I would hope that you're a hard worker, a loyal person and, for the love of Pete, on time! Do not waste prime resume real estate with words that don't really add value. In fact, you add doubt to the reader’s mind if you think those are special attributes.
Responsible For
Don’t start a sentence with “responsible for” or “duties include.” Of course your duties include whatever is written after that phrase, that’s implied. Instead of saying what you are responsible for, create value with “Lead a team of 6 managing the day to day operations of a $5M organization…..”
Seasoned Professional
Unless you are a french fry or firewood, please don’t list this. Seasoned makes you sound old because it’s vague. Working in a startup environment for a year can make someone incredibly valuable and is worth 5 years in a corporate environment but by putting “seasoned” on their resume they now sound old as well as trained.
This reads more like an opinion and your resume should be a document of facts. You come off as arrogant. Go deeper into what it would look like for you to work in the organization. “15 years of experience increasing productivity and decreasing operations costs.” This sentence can be proven as a fact.
The Space Wasters
I’m grouping these 3 together because they can all be eliminated. They are wasting precious space on your resume.
  • GPA - unless you just graduated leave this off, nobody cares, you graduated from college and that checkbox is all any employer wants.
  • References available by request or listing references - It’s like sharing your life story on a first date. Wait until these are requested.
  • Microsoft Office Suite - When you list this you are basically saying I can walk upright. It is okay however to list if you are a power user of something such as Excel.
Are you using acronyms and then thinking that everyone understands them? Right now I want you to Google the acronym you use the most. You will find out that acronym can mean about 15 different things. You don't know who is reading your resume so please please spell out all acronyms.
The Objective
Please out your objective. My objective in writing a resume is to find a job and everyone knows that. When you write an objective you're sharing what's in it for you. Recruiters and hiring managers don't care what you're looking for, they want to know what’s in it for them. What do you bring to the table that they can use in their business?
Big Words
Stop using big words. You're overcomplicating sentences and if you also mention that you're a strong communicator you just proved that you're not. The average American reads at a 5th-grade level. I know you want to sound smart, but smart people understand their audience.
If you’d like to go deeper into this topic feel free to join my course waitlist where I provide you a simple yet powerful structure for your resume, LinkedIn profile, and even interview skills.

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