The phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is never truer than when you are submitting your resume to a potential employer. You have to make the first glimpse an employer gets of you an impressive one.
According to branch manager Ryan Shaughnessy and division director Kareem Osman, both with Robert Half Technology in Midtown Manhattan, the most common resume mistakes they’re seeing from local job seekers are:
- Grammatical mistakes around specific technologies, including:
- IPhone instead of iPhone;
- VmWare instead of VMware; and
- ZenApp or XenAp instead of XenApp.
- Grammatical errors in general, most commonly:
- Misusing words like your and you’re.
- Too much personal information.
- Including that you enjoy soccer, traveling and hiking is fine, but stating that you knit sweaters for your dog in your spare time is probably TMI.
“Resume mistakes tend to happen when candidates use multiple sources — like a friend’s resume as an example or tips from the Internet that aren’t reliable — and then fail to edit thoroughly,” Ryan told me when I asked him for his insight. “Resume writing is definitely a skill, and it has to be practiced. A specialized recruiter can help you narrow down keywords, phrases and skills that you should highlight, while acting as a trained ‘second set of eyes’ for any errors that may be hidden.”
Here are some additional tips Ryan and Kareem offered on what makes a resume successful and how you can stand out (in a good way!):
- Be honest. One of the most common resume mistakes (and easiest for hiring managers to spot) is trying to fluff your resume with skills you don’t have. Don’t do it. If you include a specific skill on your resume, you must be able to speak to your real-life application of it in the workplace.
- Know what’s in demand. Understand the local demand for your skills and experience. Then, highlight these qualifications to spark interest from employers.
- Show your best stuff. Be sure to highlight specific accomplishments, as well as cost-saving projects where you played an integral role. Employers are always looking for talented professionals who can get things done and help save the firm money.
- Leverage your experience. Show how you can benefit a potential employer by detailing the work you did at former companies. Connect the dots for hiring managers so they understand why bringing you on board is the right move.
- Work from the top down. When listing your technical skills, start with your strongest and work your way down to those that are less developed.
The bottom line? Be honest and proofread, proofread, proofread! In fact, Robert Half has an entire series dedicated to the (often amusing) resume mistakes that job seekers make all too often. Don’t let silly grammatical blunders or typos keep you from getting your dream job.