5 Mistakes That Make Your Resume Unimpressive


It’s a simple process involving a few rounds of interviewing. We call it the “Selection Process”, and it is that time of your life when 7-8 people collectively decide your possible future in their company. It begins when you first write your achievements in a neatly designed format and call it a resume. Once a rough layout is ready, you fill-in the positions you’ve held, giving details about major responsibilities handled.
Most resumes are made that way.

And That, is why, most of them fail to ensure even a call or an interview.

For every candidate seeking a new job, a well-built resume is the most important weapon in hand. With the right resume, you can create an impression, present relevant skills & experience and become that candidate who gets shortlisted for an interview. Without it, you are just an average Joe. In the preliminary stages of the recruitment game, the people who decide the fate of a resume are the referrers, recruiters and the HR staff whose business it is to scan hundreds of resumes each month. They can take your Resume out of the running in a few seconds, especially if you have made any of the top 5 mistakes that make a resume unimpressive:

Generic Tone

If you want serious consideration from recruiters or employers, give them the same. While recruiters do not recommend creating multiple resumes, customize your resume to your career objectives for sure. Failing to do this ensures that your CV is disqualified at the first step. Instead, skilfully building in information that is of relevance to your target role will capture the interest of the recruiter and take you through to the next stage. If you are going for Resume writing services, do make sure that your Resume writer understands what an employer might seek while hiring for a particular role.

Poor Readability

Small text with not enough white space, non-standard fonts, narrow margins, unnecessary capitalization, etc. are a few common errors that turn the salient aspects of your career into a mundane document which is difficult to read. Don’t let your resume appear clumsy, cluttered and unreadable. Use a reasonable type size and stay away from lines, pictures, graphics & colors. The trick is to make sure that key information stands out and is easy to find in the few seconds that the employer will spend to scan your Resume.

Information Overload

Knowing what to leave out can be a challenge. When you have packed plenty of achievements into your work life, identifying the points to showcase can be a challenge. Should you be including that training course you attended? How important is it to mention the awards and accolades you received 4 years ago? Resist the temptation to pack in every detail, given that you need to keep your resume down to two pages.

Breaking Trust

If you have ever taken a sabbatical or even had a break in your career, be open about it. Let them know about those legitimate gaps with just a line or two, without going into great detail. Use your Resume for trust-building – giving the employer the confidence that he is dealing with a professional and can depend on the information he is reading.

Templatization isn’t healthy

Whether your resume is a DIY or written in collaboration with a professional, avoid borrowing from standard templates. Many candidates are not certain of how a resume is developed, that is, brief and yet effective. They try to find the best-suited words found in templates. However, by adhering too closely to such formats, you are most likely to write a resume like everyone else, without conveying your personal points of difference. Worn-out phrases like “team player”, “dynamic”, “innovative”, etc., will never be able to differentiate your talent and work ethic. So go for a resume that stands apart and brings out the best in you.

Your resume is the first point of interaction with the employer. Don’t spare any effort to get it right!
Looking for assistance with your Resume? Click here>>

Sandeep Vadnere
Sandeep is the Co-Founder and heads Engineering and Product at HeadHonchos.
He has been a member of the core team since the company’s inception. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai and a Postgraduate Diploma in General Management from XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur.

9 thoughts on “5 Mistakes That Make Your Resume Unimpressive

  1. For person having more than 25 years experience (Sales & Operation/Profit center management) and looking for top management opening how many pages CV is considered good. Especially if some one is having worked for 6 to 7 companies. Please also mention how to place the information in case one needs to show two innings of working in one company.

    1. @Arup- Ideally a Resume should not run beyond two pages, even when it is for a senior professional. In a Resume, the recruiter needs to know only what is necessary to take a decision on whether to shortlist the Resume or not. All other information should be saved for the interview stage. The challenge in writing a senior Resume is always to know what to leave out to keep the resume under 2 pages.

      As far as two innings in one company is concerned, list the organisation twice in the correct chronological order, with the appropriate designation indicated in each case.

    1. We agree with you Raman. A resume should be clear, crisp and simple for a recruiter to understand a candidate’s profile.

  2. I have applied for some companies where their HR reply is that though “skills seems to be impressive we could not able to select you for the job now” , what would be the reason behind. Also many HR reply that they feed my resume in their database, but do they really do so because the same company announces any opening related to my skills, i was not considered.

  3. i have recently quit the job due to some personal reasons after serving the company for 20 years. should i declare in my resume that i have quit the job or to make it clear during interview. What should be covered in resume to make it effective as my job profile ( Role ) was changing after every three years of working with progress in career.

  4. Dear Team,
    I have a question.When I upload my resume in various company sites do i need to change it everytime to suit the job i am applying for?

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