3 Resume Mistakes You’re Making

If you’ve created da resume, you probably already know that there’s about 1000 things to think about when writing one.  How long should it be?  Should I include my first job in 1932?  Do I have to write that I was a stay at home mom?  Should it be Word or PDF?  Should I put fancy designs on it?

The list of questions and thoughts on how to create a resume can go on and on and on.  Different people will tell you different things, and I bet if I lined 10 people up, I would get 10 different resume formats.  There are some general rules when it comes to writing resumes though, some more important than others to follow.

job applicant passing her documents

There’s also a bunch of mistakes people make when creating a resume (and I’m not even talking about spelling mistakes).  Here’s a few big mistakes people are making when they’re creating their resumes:

  1. Having an Objective Section
  2. Having a Reference Section
  3. Having an Interest Section

Now, these are just three of many different types of mistakes that can be made, but these are worth taking a more in depth look at, because they can be a turn off to hiring managers and recruiters.

#1: Having An Objective Section

“I am applying to obtain a position as a Financial Analyst at Barclays”.  I’ll take a 90’s phrase that I think still applies here….”DUH”. 

There is nothing more repetitive on a resume than an objective section.  Most people, are restating what is already obvious to the person reading the resume.  I’ll tell you a secret…I don’t like giving secrets away for free but I’ll do it now.  Do you want to know how they know that you’re applying for the job?  It’s not from the Objective Section in your resume.  It’s because…YOU’RE APPLYING FOR THE JOB.  This is taking up unnecessary space in your resume, so you should definitely remove it.

marketing people woman art

Another resume to get rid of this section is because it’s one of the most popular sections to not get updated when your resume.  For some reason, so many people forget to update that section and then you get “I’m applying to obtain a position as a Financial Analyst at Barclays…but the only problem is, you’re applying for a Production Assistant role at 1010 WINS.  This will 99 out of 100 times this will cause your resume to get placed in the garbage.  So if for some strange reason you are loyal to the Objective Section….UPDATE IT…sorry for yelling.

#2: Including a Reference Section

Some people also hold this section near and dear to their hearts.  They have great references lined up to tell a potential employer how great they are.  They want to let the person reading their resume know that these 3 people listed here are going to give you an honest unbiased review of me.

Anyone and everyone reading your resume knows that if you’re providing references, these people are going to be biased.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in the history of the world that has given references that have talked about how terrible of a person they were and gave a bunch of reasons why they shouldn’t be hired.

two white printer papers near macbook on brown surface

This is why companies don’t ask for them anymore.  They realize that you’re probably just putting down your neighbor or an uncle and pretending that they were your boss at a job from 10 years ago.  It was nice while it lasted, but the Reference Section is old and outdated.

I’ll even give you another free secret since I’m in a generous mood.  Potential employers aren’t even calling your current or former employers anymore because they know that if you are providing them with numbers to call, those people are only going to speak highly of you.  So in good conscious, I have to advise to get rid of this section.

#3 Having an Interest Section

I get it, you want people reading your resume to know that you’re interested in Business or Finance or Wall Street, or The Wolf of Wall Street.  If you include this on your resume, think for a second, does the person reading my resume need to know this information in order to hire me?.  The answer is…you guessed it….NO.

Having interests is great and it’s important to align your interests with whatever the job is that your sending your resume in for.  This section however, is not an essential part of the resume.  It’s frankly not really very helpful either.  If you really want to find a way to tell them about your interests, you can maybe put it in the cover letter or better yet, mention it at the beginning or end of an interview.  It’s not worth taking up space when you could be filling that space with more important information.  So in the words of Joey Gladstone from Full House; “Cut…It…Out.”

woman in white long sleeve shirt and black pants sitting on black leather chair

While there are many other mistakes that I could include in this post, I felt as though these were pretty common ones and important to highlight.  If you’re reading this and have one or all of these sections in your resume currently, don’t get upset.  They aren’t going to cost you every job you apply for.  You may even have gotten a few jobs with these sections in there.  But in this day and age, they really are not necessary to have on your resume.

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