“Employers like to see as much information as possible up front. If you raised money or saved money, put down the actual dollar figure–never give a generality that you can’t verify when they dig deeper.”There’s no hard and fast rule about résumé length, says Tarpey.Career Builder’s data shows that for new college graduates, 66% of employers say a résumé should be one page long, and for more seasoned workers, 77% of employers say they expect a résumé that’s at least two pages long.“If you say you’re detail-oriented, and we catch incorrect information on your résumé, it’s a big red flag.”Even if you make it to the interview stage, the incorrect information will come out eventually.
You’ll never hit the bull’s-eye with a vague résumé, says Barrett-Poindexter.
“Your laser-focused competitor candidate will knock you out of the game.”“When you are too wordy and vague, we don’t know what you’ve actually accomplished,” adds Hargett.
To keep that from happening, we asked Barrett-Poindexter, Tarpey, and Maele Hargett, an executive recruiter with Ascendo Resources, to highlight the most egregious résumé mistakes they see over and over–and explain how you can avoid these missteps. According to a 2013 Career Builder survey, 58% of employers identified résumés with typos as one of the top mistakes that led them to automatically dismiss a candidate.“In this day and age, there really is no excuse for a number of grammatical errors,” says executive recruiter Hargett.
Common errors she sees include misuse of words (“your/you’re” and “lose/loose”), words spelled incorrectly (“business” and “finance,” if you can believe it), and overuse of punctuation (namely, commas).“Don’t solely rely on spell check,” she says.
Just keep it simple and save the file as your name.“Formatting is key,” says Hargett.
Don’t let your résumé get out of hand with fonts and graphs and distract the reader from what’s important (how qualified you are).“It’s helpful to get a second set of eyes on your résumé after you’ve reviewed it yourself.” She suggests reaching out to a trusted mentor or colleague in a similar industry, or if you’re a student, using the resources at your college career center or local library.This may seem obvious, but getting simple details wrong will get your résumé tossed into the reject pile, fast.“When you put an incorrect phone number down or mess up your job titles or dates, it makes your résumé look haphazard,” says Hargett.“Not a good idea–you are setting yourself up for failure.”This may come as a surprise to some job seekers, but your résumé is not one-size-fits-all (jobs).“No two roles are alike–and your résumés shouldn’t be either,” says Hargett.If you’re going to use bullets, they should be the same size and shape in each section and align from page to page.