Here is an interesting poll conducted by Jobweb. 150 executives from the human resources, finance and marketing industry from top employers in the USA, where asked , “In your opinion, which of the following is the single most common mistake job seekers make on their resumes?”
Here are the results:
- Typos or grammatical errors—34 percent
- Including too much information—22 percent
- Not listing achievements in former roles—17 percent
- Poor layout and/or design—17 percent
- Including too little information—7 percent
- Other/don’t know—3 percent
It is interesting that hiring managers cited the problem of including too much information 3 times more frequently than too little information. Having hired in corporate HR and from a professional resume writer’s view, this findings does not surprise us. When it comes to too much information, I would suggest that more specifically this means not the right kind of information as opposed to document length. The right kind of information is stuff that speaks to the job and employer requirements. When I screened resumes for an employer, I much preferred reviewing a 3 page resume that spoke to the job than a 1 page resume with irrelevant information.
As a professional resume writer, I see this fear of having too little content all the time. We work with so many resume customers who feel strongly about wanting an additional paragraph of content or for their resume to be expanded to a certain page length. It is this paranoia that drives the need to include irrelevant information a.k.a “resume fluff”. And as the survey above indicates, resume fluff is nearly the worse thing you can add to your resume.
As for not listing achievements, this is related to another resume problem that I see committed frequently. That is not listing achievements and not personalizing your resume. Remember that you want to create a resume that speaks to the employer’s requirements and is as unique as the person that it represents.
In summary, these poll results definitely confirm what we have observed both in the HR field and as professional resume writers. Also, it illustrates the importance of a well written professional resume and how it can leave a lasting impression with an employer.
So until our next post, we wish you much luck and success in your career search.