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4 Resume Blunders That Could Be Costing You a New Job

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

If you're in the market for a new job, a solid resume could be your ticket to it. After all, that document is the first thing recruiters and hiring managers will review to determine if you might be a viable candidate. If they see these common resume mistakes, however, you might never get the chance to interview for many of the positions you're interested in.

1. Not catching spelling and grammatical errors

In this day and age, there's really no excuse for having spelling and grammatical mistakes on your resume. Not only is there software that can detect and correct these errors, but also, chances are, you know someone who's good at proofreading and can give your resume a read and highlight typos or other glaring problems. Submitting a resume with obvious mistakes sends the message that you're unprofessional and not at all detail-oriented, and that's not a message you want out there.

Person holding a pen to a resume on a clipboard while sitting in front of an interviewee.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Hashing out your entire career history

Maybe you're a seasoned employee with many years of experience under your belt. While there's nothing wrong with offering a high-level overview of the various jobs you've held down in the past, don't spell out every single detail of each one if your career is already 20 years in the making. Though it is acceptable to submit a resume that's longer than a single page, you shouldn't be writing a novella about your career history, either. Instead, list the responsibilities and skills you possess, or possessed in the past, that are most relevant to the jobs you're applying to.

3. Not tweaking your resume to cater to specific roles

The jobs you're applying to may require certain skills that you have, but are buried in lines of text on a resume that's otherwise somewhat cookie cutter. And that's a big mistake. Instead, be sure to highlight the reasons you're qualified for the specific roles you're applying to, even if that means tweaking your resume or producing a few different versions of that document. For example, if you're interested in both a marketing and a research role, you might have one resume that caters to the former and another that's more geared to the latter.

4. Using boring language

Actions verbs are a resume's best friend. Without them, that document is likely to bore those reading it to tears. Therefore, load up on action items like "created compelling advertising copy" and "managed interdepartmental projects with numerous moving parts," because that will make for a more captivating read. That said, make an effort to avoid buzzwords on your resume that don't really mean anything. "Synergized internal teams" and "raised the bar on presentations" might sound interesting to you, but it's hard for somebody not in your head to understand what those terms really entail.

The job market is pretty healthy today, and opportunities are abundant. If you want to land yourself a new role, you'll need the right resume to do it. Avoid these mistakes, and with any luck, you could have an offer letter land in your lap before you know it.

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