As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When you’re job hunting, your resume often is the only thing making that first impression. Learn which resume mistakes annoy hiring managers most and can put you out of contention immediately.
If you want your administrative resume to stand out from the crowd, it needs to be clean. By that, I mean it needs to follow all of the resume rules and avoid even minor slipups. You never know how much competition you’ll face for a job opening and just one error on your resume can be a deal breaker.
Here are eight common resume mistakes that prompt hiring managers to hit the delete key:
1. Failing to proofread
Every company out there wants administrative professionals who are detail oriented. You can’t really claim that you are if your resume has typos, grammatical errors, misused words or spelling mistakes. Even if you review your resume multiple times, have friends and family take a look, too.
2. Sending everyone the same resume
An employer asking for strong Excel skills is going to be looking for different things on your resume than one asking for the ability to support executives who travel frequently. You’ll want to highlight aspects of your background that suit each job opening, and that means customizing every resume you send out.
3. Sharing a boring list of job duties
Good resumes are interesting and leave hiring managers eager to talk to you. Make sure you’re shining the best possible light on what you did in previous jobs. For example, “Updated 32 presentations last year for a team of six deadline-driven marketing professionals” is far more impressive than, “Updated presentations as needed.” Also note any accomplishments, such as winning an award or saving the company money.
4. Being vague
Provide sufficient detail so hiring managers aren’t wondering what exactly you did in your last job. What does it mean when you say you “supported the accounting team”? Managers won’t put in the effort to figure it out.
5. Using funky formatting
When it comes to formatting, less is more. Keep it simple and avoid creative flourishes, like quirky fonts. Keep the attention on the content of your resume.
6. Providing irrelevant information
Your administrative resume should focus on skills and experience tied to the job opening. There’s no need to mention that you're an avid skier or like crossword puzzles, and definitely avoid citing political or religious activity. It’s ok to note volunteer experience as long as it adds to your professional value.
7. Going overboard with industry jargon
You can’t assume your resume will end up in the hands of a fellow admin. A department leader or HR professional may take the first look, so avoid using acronyms or terminology they may not understand.
This should go without saying, but it’s important to mention because some people do try to stretch the truth. Good resumes are accurate ones. Changing the dates of employment to cover up a gap in your work history or saying you’re an expert with PowerPoint when you’ve only used it twice can have serious consequences.