Contributed by Allison M.


As a recruiter, I read a lot of resumes every day.  I look at over 10 times the amount of resumes a day than I did two years ago.  I do not sit there reading each one word for word; as a matter of fact, I only spend a minute on each one.  I simply do not have the time to read each one thoroughly.  How can I?

I have seen all different styles of resumes.  It is not the style of the resume that matters but what is on it. That might sound academic but you would be surprised!  Here are four missteps that will automatically take you out of the running.

  • Misspelled words. You cannot rely on spell check or even your own eyes to catch your errors.  Have a few friends who can write look at your resume.  Print it out and look at it yourself.  The biggest errors are ‘manger’ instead of ‘manager’; ‘form’ and ‘from’ often get confused as well.
  • Too many bullets. Each section, job or position in a company should only have 3-7 bullets.  If you have too little, think of some other skill or accomplishment you learned at the job. If you have too many, see if any can be combined.  Put the best ones first.
  • Lack of accomplishments. If you list only the tasks you did, you are not standing out.  You must have saved your company time or money, improved some type of service, saved a customer relationship, led a team, added a new skill, came up with a solution, etc.  If you do not have any accomplishments, why would anyone hire you?
  • Not customizing your resume. Look, I understand that it is annoying to adjust your resume for each job, but you do not need to change all of it.  Look at the keywords in the job description and use them.  Find the skills they need and put them in your resume.  This is what I am looking for.  I do not have the time to read between the lines.  If you aren’t customizing your resume, I think you are not really interesting and are willing to take anything.  I need to make sure any employees I hire have a passion for their work.

Avoiding these major resume errors can help you get your foot in the door instead of being left in the discard pile.