6 Resume Mistakes Preventing You from Getting Hired

By Stephanie Proper

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

When you’re trying to show you’re fit for a leadership position, you include the most important skills in your resume.

You mention your communication skills, coaching and mentoring capacity, and ability to build relationships.

Are you missing something? Are you saying too much?

Here are six common resume mistakes that can undermine a leader’s career. If you recognize some of these flaws, you’ll be able to fix them:

1. Clichés

All guides that teach you how to show your leadership skills in a resume tell you to emphasize your skills for communicating and problem-solving.

Plus, you must mention that you’re an innovative and creative leader whose ability to empathize helps them adjust their leadership style as necessary.

The problem is that most other applicants for this position will be mentioning the same things. Instead of simply writing that you have great communication skills, describe how you used them.

‘Excellent written and verbal communication skills’ is a cliché.

‘Speaking in public, giving motivational speeches to the team, and presenting effective webinars’ is more precise and effective.

2. Lack of Keywords

When you’re sending a resume, it has to match the needs of the job you’re competing for. You probably know that all employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) nowadays.

You may write the perfect resume that shows how great you are as a leader.

But if the software doesn’t find the keywords relevant to the job, it won’t suggest you as a good candidate for the job.

Employers use this system to make their jobs easier. You have to play the game by the rules they impose. Identify the important keywords in the job ad and use them in your resume.

If you don’t know how to make them look natural, you can always rely on a resume editing service to get the help you need. To avoid scams, make sure to go through the best reviews of these services first.

3. Skipping the Summary Statement or Writing a Boring One

A resume is more than a list of jobs and skills. It should convey your personality, and that’s the hardest part of writing job application documents.

If you decide to write an objective statement, you’ll be telling the hiring manager something they probably know.

Your objective is to get that job and push your career forward. Everyone will be writing the same thing in their own words.

When you’re writing a summary statement, you’re doing something different. This is your sales pitch.

It’s a short summary of your values, and it’s the first thing an employer will see when looking at your resume.

4. Writing Too Much on a Single Page

“The perfect resume is one-page long.” How many times have you heard that? Well, bending the standards is what makes the difference between good and great leaders.

We’re talking about an executive-level resume here. A single page is often not enough to hold all your skills and experience.

The important thing is to keep your resume clean and organized. If that means going on a second page to include everything necessary, don’t hesitate to do it.

5. Key Accomplishments in Table Format

The section for key accomplishments usually comes after the summary statement. If you put it on a table, it will look pretty. However, there’s a problem. The applicant tracking system might not process that text.

It’s best to go with plain old bullet points. And don’t forget to categorize them. If you have several of them, put them under different subheadings, such as team-leading activities, IT training, and similar situations.

6. Being Too Vague

Many competitors for leadership positions are trying to prove they can be all things to all employers. A candidate of this level can have experienced so wide that it’s hard to articulate the precise niche they are focused on.

Recruiters are driven by specifics. They want to find the right match for the particular position they have open. When writing a resume, you have to emphasize the points that are relevant to this job.

You can still mention other skills and accomplishments, but they have to be cohesive with the main points. Yes, this means you’ll probably have to write a different resume for each position you apply for.

What Makes a Great Resume?

You! Don’t forget that. Do not fall for clichés just to meet some standards. The resume should represent you as a leader, and that’s the only right way to write it.

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Stephanie Proper
Stephanie Proper
Stephanie Proper is a professional career advisor. Her free time she devotes to running her blog ProperResumes.com where she shares knowledge and gives tips how to write a job-wining resume, go through an application process, and start a successful career.
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