4 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

When updating your resume for a job application (or making your first one in a very long time) there are some important factors to keep in mind. Here are 4 resume mistakes to avoid, to help you land that new role.

Two people talking about a resume

Nikki Paterson of Accomplish Education, is a career transition coach, and expert when it comes to resumes, job applications and interviews. Here are her top 4 resume mistakes (plus one genius bonus tip)!

4 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1 – Using the same resume for every application

It is vital that you do your research on the company that you want to work for so that you can understand how and where this role fits into their organisation. Google them, look up their website, check their reviews, and look up their previous jobs on Seek.

Now that you have some background intel on the company, go back to the job description and understand the role and what skills and experience they’re looking for.

This is where you need to craft your resume specifically for them. Wherever possible, use keywords that appear in the job description.

A word on Keywords…

Before your resume even makes it in front of human eyes it must pass an AI test. Most larger companies and recruiters will start by filtering resumes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which scans, shortlists and culls according to set keywords. 

If your resume doesn’t contain the words or phrases they’re looking for, your application won’t progress any further.

You are trying to sell yourself so make sure that you tick as many boxes as possible in this very first stage.

Qualifications that Match Experience

Included in keyword awareness is qualifications that match your experience. You might be the most qualified person for the job, but if you don’t have qualifications that back up your experience you may be overlooked for the role. 

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) turns your experience into qualifications (no study) so that you can show what you know.

Find out what you are eligible for with a free appraisal – book here.

Mistake #2 – Listing everything you’ve done since school

No need to list your entire work career. Most recruiters are only looking at your last few roles.

Focus on the last 10 years of your work experience and expand on the skills you acquired and how you demonstrated them in these roles.

List your work history from most recent and go back from there.

Mistake #3 – Making meaningless statements

Often referred to as ‘Motherhood Statements’ they are easy to say, are mainly ‘nice’, but are actually hard to demonstrate and prove so they add little to no value.

Statements and words like ‘team player’, ‘hard worker’, conscientious, diligent, and especially ‘go getter.’ These are all meaningless catch phrases that add nothing to your uniqueness unless you combine them with proof or examples.

Remember, you’re trying to sell yourself with proof of career capital gained throughout your previous work experience.

Mistake #4 – Using your resume as the cover letter

The cover letter is a way to sell yourself and explain why you are the ‘ideal’ candidate for the job. Don’t just reuse your resume as the cover letter as it is quick and easy from your side. 

It’s your sales pitch whereas your resume is the proof of your skills and work experience.

Make sure that it is personal, appealing to the person reading it, as well as ticking as many boxes as possible for the company’s core business and mission statement.

This is the chance to tell your story and try and stand out from the crowd with the opening line of the very first page. Make the first sentence the most important part of your application.

Be bold and back yourself, it might just make the difference.

Bonus Tip – Change your resume colours!

Now this is a ‘next’ level bonus tip which is based on psychology and how our eyes and brain work together.

If possible, make sure that the colour of the header on your resume is easy to change. When you research the company by looking at their website, pay attention to the colours of their logo and branding.

Now, if possible, match your header to their corporate colours and branding. This is such a subtle and subliminal change but when someone in the company picks up your resume it will instantly feel ‘right.’ Without even knowing they will feel familiar with your resume.

Like we said, ‘genius’ level and well worth giving it a go, and who knows, maybe it might just be the thing that gets you across the line.

We hope this helps you craft a resume that gets you through to an interview! If you would like qualifications that match your experience, you can book a free appraisal below!

Spotlight on: Diploma of WHS

Demand for WHS professionals continues to rise, making this one of our most popular qualifications.

Turn your career experience into qualifications with Recognition of Prior Learning.  Apply for a free assessment today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.