Recruiters are inundated with CV’s, résumés and cover letters – but a candidate can really ruin their legitimacy if they make these mistakes, says Tina Nicolai, Founder of Résumé Writers’ Ink.
Nicolai, who began work as a recruiter for Walt Disney World in the late 1990s, told Business Insider she noticed that many job seekers were submitting flawed CVs.
“Since launching my company, I’ve read over 40,000 résumés,” she says.
And candidates are repeating mistakes over and over again that are “pretty irritating.”
The list of five can be read below:
“The biggest mistake job seekers make: They are sloppy. They pay poor attention to detail. They are lazy!”
Nicolai says that she has seen too many typos, unprofessional fonts, outdated information, and irrelevant information.
- Summaries are too long
Summaries are annoying when they are written in a formal tone and include too many adjectives, she says.
“After a while, the summaries can read like a lengthy chapter in a book. It’s better to list a few bullets with pointed achievements and a branded tag line stating, ‘known for achieving XYZ.'”
- Too many buzzwords
Buzzwords such as “out-of-the-box,” “team player,” and “exceptional communicator” are “baseline expectations in today’s market,” Nicolai says. “A person who truly is a ‘unique problem solver who works well in teams’ will convey this succinctly and creatively on their résumé through a combination of few words and imagery.”
- Starting a bullet point with ‘Responsible for’
This is another “lazy thing” that she has seen too many times.
“Candidates need to understand that starting a sentence with ‘responsible for’ tells the reader what the job requirements were supposed to be, but it does not state that the candidate actually performed the functions,” Nicolai says. “It does not state that the candidate was successful in these functions. Don’t be lazy: Take the extra few minutes to explain what you accomplished — not what you were expected to accomplish.”
- Being too formal
She concludes with saying that overly formal CVs are annoying because they’re not engaging and don’t allow the reader to get a good sense of the applicant’s personality.