5 Resume Mistakes You Need to Avoid

October 12, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs

Let’s talk about resumes. At some point in your life,
probably sooner than you think, you’re gonna have to
write one of these things. And whether you’re applying
for a job or an internship, or in some cases even a scholarship, your resume is likely
going to be the first thing that the decision maker sees,
when they’re evaluating you. Which means they’re important. Now, because these
things are so important, then any recruiter or hiring manager is obviously gonna give
every one they receive the utmost care and attention, right? Wrong. In reality, most resumes
are never actually seen by a human recruiter. And of those that actually do
make it to a recruiters desk, most are unceremoniously
thrown in the trash after just a few seconds. And this is just a numbers game. In fact, Google alone gets over
1 million resumes per year. And that breaks down to over 2,700 a day. Now, those numbers seem daunting and they can be a little bit intimidating, but there is some good news. Because a lot of people make
some really common mistakes on their resumes that could
put them out of the running. And if you could learn
to avoid those mistakes, you’re gonna have a huge
leg-up on the competition. So, today we are going over five of the worst resume mistakes you can make, and we’re gonna talk about
how you can avoid them so that you get that dream
job that you are going for. The first big mistake we’re gonna go over is the tendency for people to
write their experience section in a way that lists their job duties rather than their jobs accomplishments. But the thing is,
employers do no care about what you were expected
to do at your last job. They care about what you can do for them, and they wanna see concrete examples from your past experience
that point to that. And since most of them
are not Albus Dumbledore and they don’t have a
pensieve sitting in a corner, they can’t just peer into the
past and watch you at work. Which means it’s your
responsibility to clearly and succinctly show what you accomplished in that little amount of space you have. Here’s an example from my own resume. During my senior year, I had a job on campus at
a research department. And I got hired as a web developer and I did maintain the website,
I did make changes to it. But at one point, I also had
a small, probably three hour project where I created
an automation script that ended up saving the
company about 240 hours of work. And since people there were
getting paid about nice bucks an hour, you can do the math
on how much money that saved. Now even though that project
only took me a few hours to do, in the eyes of a hiring manager, it would have been by
far the best indication of my creative problem solving abilities and my ability to save their
company money in the future, out of anything I did there. Now, you might be thinking
to yourself right now, “I don’t have a story like this, “I haven’t saved a company a ton of hours “or thousands of dollars yet.” But what you do have, is the ability to make your
achievements as concrete and as specific as possible,
and to quantify them. To look at another example from my resume. During my junior year, I was a resident advisor at my university. And I could’ve just said, “Helped to smoothly run
a community of students,” but I put 62 students because
that gives a more concrete and quantified example of how
many students I was managing. Big mistake number two
is, believe it or not, typos and grammatical errors. And you might be thinking, “This is the most obvious
boring tip that could ever “be on a video like this.” But it needs to be said because I, myself, have
fallen victim to it. During the summer before
my sophomore year, I was getting ready for the career fair and I created what I thought
was the perfect resume. I had a ton of experiences, tons of clubs, tons of part time jobs
that I could show off. I was thinking, “I’m gonna
go into that career fair, “and I am going to crush
all the competition.” But, to check off all the boxes, I decided to get a resume review from my career counselor first. So, I go into her office, I sit down, and I’m thinking this is going to be a five minute meeting. She’s going to give me
a gold star and say, “Thomas, this was the best
resume I’ve ever reviewed!” But instead, she pulls out a red pen and starts marking stuff up. And as she’s marking things, I start to see that
she’s marking out typos. Things that I did not catch myself. And I thought my resume was perfect. So, if you can, get your resume reviewed
by your career counselor. And if you can’t, at least have somebody that
you trust, who isn’t you, run over it before you
start handing it out. Because we are always more scrutinizing and more careful when we’re
proofreading someone else’s work than our own. The third big mistake is
listing all of your experience in purely chronological order
instead of it’s relevancy to the position you’re applying to. A lot of people think
they’re actually supposed to list their experience
in chronological order. But this is something
that you shouldn’t do because you really don’t
have a whole lot of time to catch the recruiters eye. So you wanna put the most
relevant thing first. In fact, according to a
study done by theladders.com, recruiters spend an
average of just 6 seconds looking at a resume before
throwing it into the trash and going to to the next one. So, if you’re a computer science
major applying for a job, and last summer you did an internship in software development
where you literally built and shipped software, but then
after that you just, like, worked at Burger King during the year. You definitely want to put that software development
internship at the top because a recruiter at a
computer science company is not going to care so
much about Burger King. Now you can definitely go to far here, which means that there is a
balance that has to be struck. In fact, I got an email from somebody in their mid 20s recently
who asked me if it would be a good idea to put a mission
trip they did when they were 11 years old on their resume. And as I was trying to
answer that persons question, I imagined myself as the
hiring director looking at that persons resume. And all I could think of was that something like that on a
resume is gonna look like just grasping at straws. I’m gonna think, “Why isn’t
there anything else you’ve done “in the intervening 15
years, that deserves to kick “that thing off the resume.” Now, maybe this doesn’t apply to people who have already had long
and illustrious careers, who have 20 page CVs and tons of awards on their shelf in their office. But if you are just looking
for an entry-level position, or you’re just a few
years into your career, then recency does matter. The fourth big mistake that
is really common to students especially, is placing to
much emphasis on paid work. A lot of students think that
if they didn’t get paid for it, it doesn’t really count
and it doesn’t belong in that experience section. But here’s the thing, employers don’t actually
look at it that way. Maybe you’re like Ron Swanson. You’ve been working in the quarry since you were 12 years
old and you have tons of part time jobs that you were paid for that you can put on your resume. But most students don’t have
that kind of experience. For the most part, when students are looking for
their first entry-level job, they don’t have a whole lot
of paid work under their belt. And when they do, it’s often
stuff like working at Subway, or flipping burgers, or
working as a cashier. Honorable work to be sure, but it often doesn’t exemplify the traits that recruiters are looking for
in more technical positions. But many times those same students have volunteer experiences,
extracurriculars, and clubs where they did
gain experience in what the recruiters are looking for. And if that’s you, you should definitely
put those experiences right at the top of
your experience section. Don’t hide them away in a
clubs and volunteering section. And that brings us to our
final big mistake on the list, which is using the same resume to apply for every single
position you go for. This is a huge mistake. Because again, you’ve got just six seconds to catch your recruiters eye. So make sure you’re tailoring your resume to every single position
that you’re applying for. If you’re an active student, then it’s more than likely you have a diverse set of experiences and skills. So when you’re going for
a position, ask yourself, what are the exact skills
that are gonna look the best to a recruiter hiring for this position? And make sure you tailor your resume to show those things first. If you have both freelance
writing experience and coding experience, then a writing job is gonna take a different
resume than a coding job. And the other important thing
to note here, to be honest, is that using the same resume to apply for every single
job is downright lazy. And it shows, which is bad, because honestly one of the top qualities that recruiters across every
single industry is looking for, is a clear indication that this candidate is going to go above and beyond. And I can kinda weigh in
here myself at this point, because I actually have
eight people on my team now. And when I’m looking to hire somebody, the top qualities in my
mind are clear work ethic, a clear ability to solve
problems independently, and culture fit. If somebody doesn’t
check those three boxes, then their technical skills
don’t really matter to me. And, on the flip side, if
they do check those boxes and they have a slight deficiency
in the technical skills, that often doesn’t matter
because I know as long as they’re a quick learner and can solve problems, I can train them in those technical areas. Now, when it comes to your resume, the best way you’re going to
demonstrate these qualities is by letting your past
accomplishments speak for themselves by making sure that experience section shows off accomplishments in
a very clear and specific way. But, tailoring your resume to the company and showing that you put effort
into the application process goes a long way as well. Now, that being said, when it comes to showing off
those more intrinsic qualities, your resume is not the
best tool for the job. Honestly, those are
probably gonna come out most in the interview when you have
real face-to-face interaction with that hiring manager. But before the interview happens, another great tool for
showing those qualities is having a website. If you have your own website, then you can build a portfolio
that shows off your work in the way that it was meant to be seen. You can show it off in all its details and you can also show the
process that you used, which shows your work ethic and your problem solving abilities. It also just gives you
a much more customized and vibrant way to present yourself, as you can see from my website here, which is why I think that
every ambitious student should have their own website. Now, if you’re in high school
or you’re early on in college and you’re not ready to build a website for yourself just yet, I do think that you
should, at the very least, go and secure your domain name. I was born just a bit too
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for sponsoring this video and helping to support this channel, and as always guys, thank
you so much for watching. If there’s something I
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