5 mistakes in resumes that slash your chances to an interview – and how to strengthen your resume

There are tons of resources for making a great resume.

Yet, in my viewing of hundreds of job applications, it’s shocking to still find resumes that are plain WRONG! It’s really disappointing to find such applications because with the abundant online tips that you can retrieve so easily, making the WRONG CVs just confirms the fact you are lazy and do not take effort to make it right.

I apologize for the hiatus, been caught up with some change in career environment. Let me share some basic mistakes candidates make in their CVs.

Firstly, one must understand the sole purpose of a resume.

Hiring managers go through hundreds of application to the job post, and they need to skim to find maybe only 5 people to call for an interview. Generally, resumes are being viewed within seconds, and the moment they pick up something bad, you’re OUT!

The resume is your advertisement to call for the hiring manager to INVITE YOU TO AN INTERVIEW.

In order to do that, you need to determine what’s important for the employer and appeal to that, and at the same time avoid laying out red signals that the employer might find in your resume enough to slash you out of the interview list.

Here are 5 mistakes people still do in their resume, severing their chances of being called to an interview.

 1. Boring template

Here’s a good explanation from Uptowork.com about using the recent template is better. It shows you are up to date, and the contents are easier to view.


2. No details in skills, experience

This is a huge topic.

Explain your work experience with skills or achievements that link to the position applied. That means, don’t just list down everything, but keep it specific like explained in Uptowork’s example.

Work duration in each position is a must. Employers do want to know if you are the job hopping type, which is a red signal. If that information is suspiciously missing, it basically means you have a reason to hide it, and immediately your chances are gone.

If you are a fresh graduate, put your CGPA. If it was really bad, then don’t. If it was good, but not there, you are assumed to have had poor performance and don’t want to show it there.

Use reverse chronological order in your education and work experience. That means put the latest positions (or education history) on top. Skip your high school and earlier education history, unless you are a fresh graduate or had an impressive performance in your high school days.

3. One resume for all applications

Yes, we know you are applying everywhere.

However, if you take the initiative to explain your skills in a way to relate to the position applied, you have higher chances of catching the employer’s interest. If you are applying for a job in the education industry, put your experience in a way that can show off your teaching skills or passion, how you like to develop people, even though your job experience was a store manager.

4. Too much personal information

While updated contact details are a must (contact number, email address), personal information such as marriage status, gender, race, religion, can slash your chances of being called to an interview if the hiring manager finds it unsuitable for the job. Let him find that out during the interview instead, AFTER you have presented your assets in the interview.

Home address is optional. It is no longer necessary in the modern digital world, and may be a disadvantage if you are applying for a job that isn’t local.

Sometimes, you may be surprised to find height or weight in resumes, which is really unnecessary (unless you are posting for related jobs like modelling or military etc).

5. Typo or wrong grammar

We know you copied those attractive sentences in the headlines from somewhere online, when your own work experience is explained in BAD English. It’s just ugly. If you are not confident with your grammar, write your sentences in Microsoft Word and let it proofread first. It points out wrong grammar, and corrects misspelling.

Search around and you will thousands of online tips on writing a decent resume. I find this article from YouthCentral.au quite sufficient.

If you are new at writing resumes, it is advisable to find someone professional to review it. He can point out unnecessary information, mistakes, and advise points to strengthen your resume. Contact Afzan mentor for a one-to-one session of career mentoring.


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