7 Common Mistakes Applicants Make When Writing Their Resumes

7 Common Mistakes Applicants Make When Writing Their Resumes
In this article, we'd be penning down some very serious, yet common mistakes applicants make when writing their resumes.
As they always say, 'your first impression really matters'. Even if you are the most qualified candidate for a job, with the longest working experience, a seemingly small resume mistake could mean the difference between a job-landing interview and a missed opportunity.
We recently interviewed some recruiters, human resources executives and hiring managers via mail, requesting for the resume mistakes that could cost an applicant the job, and we penned down some very serious ones here.
So if you want to increase your chances of getting a good job, I advise you to avoid these cringe-worthy resume-writing mistakes. In fact, you can go for a free resume template from a site like www.coolfreecv.com, it'll not only give you amazing templates but also make the job of filling the details easier.

1) Writing too much text

Have you heard Freddie Mercury's quote, 'the bigger, the better in everything'? I think he forgot to add, '...except in resumes'. Yes, sometimes, when writing resumes, 'Less, is More,'. Instead of focusing on quantity, think about the quality of your content as too much info might distract the recruiter or employer from understanding how you can add value to their job opening. 
According to our research, on average, the recruiter spends 7 seconds reviewing your resume, so you need to make them count. What do you expect when there are hundreds of other applications to peruse?

2) Unprofessional email address

Like I earlier said, your first impression really matters. This statement doesn't always apply to your dressing and greetings, but your email address too.
One fact is that you don't really have any excuse for not having a professional email address when applying for jobs since there are lots of free email service provider and the creation of new accounts takes minutes.
In fact, your email address should be a simple variation of your first and last names.
For example, consider these addresses:
                                                 Dos | Don'ts
              [email protected] |   [email protected]
              [email protected] | [email protected]
                        [email protected] | [email protected]
                    [email protected] | [email protected]
                      [email protected] | [email protected]

3) Including outdated (or irrelevant) information

Unless you're applying for a modelling job, don't tell them you enjoy taking photos or sunbathing. We all enjoy doing that, but information like that isn't really needed when applying for a job in a web design firm or bank.
Avoid including details like your age, hobbies or marital status when writing your resumes. Including them might also to some extent, set you up to be eliminated for discriminatory reasons related to items such as age and gender. If you're stuck out of ideas to include in the resume, you can explore some free templates by visiting www.coolfreecv.com/resume-templates.

4) What about your social media handles?

Before applying for any job, endeavour to check all your social media profiles for any information that might be implicating. For example, have you supported crimes in your previous posts? You know all those posts that make it appear like Yahoo Yahoo is a poverty alleviation scheme? I know you made them for fun, but they can also cost you a great opportunity in the later run.
Another thing you should consider is knowing which social media platform to include for a position. For example, if you're interested in being a model, your Instagram handle will be a perfect portfolio. On the other hand, it won't make so much sense submitting an Instagram username when applying for a position as a lawyer. Instead, you can link to your LinkedIn profile and blog/personal website instead.

5) Not customising to match the job listing (ie being too generalized)

Recruiters can easily identify a resume created for a particular job and one used for all job listings. It's sometimes easy and probably, fun, having to submit the same resumes to over tens, and even hundreds of openings. But have you considered the implication of getting ignored, or even blacklisted by the recruiter?
One of the recruiters that we contacted, even recommended that applicants tweak their resumes before applying for job opportunities to make them align with the opening. They don't necessarily need to do a full overhaul of the resume, just a little tweak will do.

6) Simple design rocks

Whoever told you that your recruiter will appreciate a complex and colourful resume might not be correct. It'll be better if you stick to a simple and clean resume design that favours white space. All that matters is the reader's ability to quickly skim your information and understand your career story.
Just take it like the more elaborate or complex a resume is, the more likely recruiters will be forced to hunt for the information they care about, and the more likely they will skip over your application altogether. If applicable, you can save the fancy graphs and other bells-and-whistles for your personal website). 

7) Leaving out cool stuff because it's not "resume material."

Before I start, what is really a resume material? I'm yet to figure out the person(s) that started this concept of what's "resume material," but you should [more or less] forget it. If it sounds cool, it is probably a resume material.
Let me give an instance: I was helping a PM at a big Nigerian tech firm with his resume and -- just as we were getting to the final stages -- he asks, "Oh, by the way, I started a little gaming company on the side and hired a few people for it. We created a decent product but never ended up launching because [various personal reasons]. I didn't think I should include it on my resume."

What? It obviously belongs to the resume and should be included.
There might be several other applicants out there that will want to skip some interesting parts of the resume because they [pick one] for a class / independent projects / unfinished/unsuccessful / etc.

So before you finish the resume, take 5 minutes to figure out what you didn't include and probably, imagine the recruiter's reaction when s/he gets to see it.


You can land your dream job if you start putting these facts into consideration when writing your resumes. These are not all, you can also include yours in the comment section below.
Before you leave, also check out our next post on 5 very important things you should never include in your CV while applying for a job in Nigeria.
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