Study: Avoid These Common Résumé Mistakes

Time to dust off your CV? CareerBuilder surveyed almost 2,000 HR professionals to determine some of the most common missteps people make in their résumés.

For many job candidates, a well-crafted résumé is the ticket to an interview. And while some believe résumés are irrelevant in the age of social media, Yahoo recently reported that it receives 12,000 of them a week, according to CBS News.

So what should you include (or not include) in your résumé?

According to a new study by CareerBuilder, you may want to resist the urge to include music videos, photos of yourself, and references to jail time. Those were just some of the most “outrageous” résumé mistakes that the roughly 2,000 surveyed hiring managers reported.

Additional “outrageous” mistakes included:

  • Simply writing one line: “Hire me, I’m awesome.”
  • Including photos spanning from childhood to adulthood
  • Writing the résumé in Klingon (a language from Star Trek)

When asked about common mistakes people make in their résumés, roughly 60 percent of respondents said typos, while about 35 percent reported generic résumés that were not personalized to the position and résumés that did not include a list of skills.

Other common mistakes included:

  • Copying a large amount of wording from the job posting
  • Having an inappropriate email address
  • Using decorative paper

What about length? The appropriate page count depends on an applicant’s level of experience, the survey found. About two-thirds of hiring managers said new college grads should stick to a single page;  for seasoned professionals, more than three-quarters of those surveyed said a résumé should be at least two pages long.

While 41 percent of workers age 45 and older said they include their first job on their résumés, a majority of hiring managers said they only want to see work experience, primarily within the last 10 years, that is relevant to the job at hand. Roughly a quarter of hiring managers will not open résumés sent in the mail and prefer that applicants send digital copies.

Have any good résumé writing tips? Let us know in the comments.

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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