Tina Nicolai estimates that she has read more than 40,000 resumes since launching Resume Writers’ Ink in 2010.
That’s a lot of CVs. Over the years, Nicolai says, certain annoying mistakes tend to come up quite a lot.
Some of these errors may not seem like a huge deal. In a competitive job market, though, they might be the difference from snagging your dream job and having your resume thrown in the garbage.
Here are Nicolai’s picks for the most annoying mistakes you can make on a resume:
The biggest mistake job seekers make: They are sloppy. They pay poor attention to detail. They are lazy!
Nicolai says she has seen too many resumes with typos, unprofessional fonts, outdated information, and irrelevant information.
2. Summaries that 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 tagline stating, ’Known for achieving XYZ.’
3. Too many buzzwords
Résumé jargon 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.”
4. Being too formal
Finally, she says she finds overly formal résumés annoying because they’re not engaging and don’t allow the reader to get a good sense of the applicant’s personality.
6. Sticking to a template
Nicolai says too many people rely on résumé templates, which are readily found online.
Templates are designed as a guide and not intended to be used as a cookie cutter, she told Business Insider. “Think of a template as a suit. A person wears a suit and adapts to his or her personal style. A resume template is a framework to showcase your personal brand and most importantly your achievements.”
6. Using awkward white space
More often than not, candidates use too much or too little ’white space,’ she said in an email. “Cramming too many words on one page with tiny margins and small font is annoying. And, on the reverse, having oceans of ’white space’ with words justified to one side or the other of the resume is equally annoying.”