7 resume mistakes to avoid in 2022 (+ resume tips to fix them!)

Jun 16, 2022
Resume mistakes to avoid

I'll let you in on a little secret, when it comes to what makes a winning resume, I kinda know my shit. With 10+ years in HR and recruitment, spanning global fortune 500s and tech startups, I can guarantee you this ain't my first rodeo 🀠 

If there's one thing I've noticed, it's that the job market is only becoming more cutthroat every year, so I figured I'd be doing a massive disservice by not sharing my juicy insider tips 😏 The reality of 2022 is that you've GOT to be strategic and calculated with your personal branding if you want to be in with a shot of an interview. Cookie-cutter resume templates? That just ain't it, sis. 

I've seen thousands of resumes in my time, so I've come to have a pretty rock-solid understanding of what's HOT and what's NOT in the world of recruitment, and I'm about to share it with you!

7 resume mistakes to avoid in 2022 + how to fix them!)

1. Not tailoring your resume for every application

I know what you're thinking... "but Rosie, tailoring every single application takes so much time!" and you're right, it does, but it also WORKS!

Think about it, companies receive 300+ applications per job listing, do you really think you're going to stand out if you use the same resume for everyone and just change a few keywords here and there? Probably not.

When the recruiter looks at your resume, you want it to scream "I understand your problem, I can solve it, and here's how", and you're not going to have that effect with any old cookie-cutter resume.

I'll be preaching this all the way to the grave - if you start doing just ONE thing in your 2022 job hunt, let it be this: TAILOR πŸ‘πŸΌ YOUR πŸ‘πŸΌ RESUME πŸ‘πŸΌ

2. Using complex, unnatural language in your resume

We've been conditioned to believe that the more complex language we use, the more intelligent and hire-worthy we're going to sound, but that's just not true. I'm a HUGE fan of sounding like a human, not a walking thesaurus.

You need to remember that not all HR people are experts, they might not understand all of your industry lingo and acronyms. When you read your resume, you want it to still be understandable to someone outside of your industry. Read your resume out loud to make sure the language you're using is simple and easy to follow.

3. Not working on the resume format

It's true that content will always be king πŸ‘‘, but that doesn't mean you have to make compromises on the format! It doesn't need to be a graphic design masterpiece (that's what my good friend Canva is for πŸ˜‰) but you DO need your resume format to be clear and flow easily.

I'll be the first to remind you that recruiters spend approximately 6 SECONDS skimming your resume, so you need to make sure it's built as such. Aside from your summary section, your resume should be a πŸ™…πŸΌ‍♀️ no paragraph zone πŸ™…πŸΌ‍♀️ so that the recruiter can easily skim and gather the most important information. Get those bullet points out and have those keywords popping!

To some people, formatting your resume may be considered a 'nice to have', but it's really a non-negotiable in my books! The effort you put into your resume is a reflection of the effort you’re going to put in on the job, so if you can't take the time to make your resume look beautiful and sleek, it's not going to be very convincing for the recruiter.

4. Having an objective section on your resume

Stuck in the early 2000's anyone? Seriously, objective sections are so out of date. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine (in fact, I encourage it) to have a summary or profile section on your resume where you offer a sneak peek at the value you can bring to the company, but the issue with an objective statement is it's traditionally more self-centred and all about YOU.

Instead of focussing on what the company can do for you, everything should be about THEIR problems and how you can serve them.

5. Ditch the cliches - get descriptive on your CV

By the time recruiters reach the end of their pile of resumes, vague self-descriptors like "hard-working" "goal-oriented" and "team player" have quite frankly lost ALL meaning (if they even had any to begin with).

The problem is these terms are all subjective. Anyone can slap a 'takes initiative' or 'attention to detail' on their resume, but how do recruiters know that's actually true? How do you tell them you take initiative without actually telling them?

Repeat after me: PROOF POINTS πŸ’₯

Replace those dry and ordinary descriptors with concrete achievements and proof points that say you’re those things without you having to say it.

6. Using weak verbs on your resume

If you want to create a strong impact, you've got to brush off those weak verbs and bust out the big guns by using POWER VERBS.

When it comes down to it, companies want to know what ACTION you are going to take that will create a positive and tangible impact on their business, and you're not going to be able to communicate that using weak verbs. Power verbs are zesty, and exciting, and give the impression of being at a higher level of competence.

As an example, supported or assisted becomes...

  • Resolved
  • Initiated
  • Enabled
  • Uplifted
  • Enhanced
  • Empowered
  • Boosted

...I could go on!

7. Not optimising for the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

Before I even get started on this point, let me chuck in a little positive affirmation that "thou shalt not be afraid of the ATS!"

Yes, whilst it's still important to optimise your application to the ATS, don't be fooled into believing that the ATS can't read colour, or your aesthetically pleasing two-column format, because that's not true! Honestly, don't even get me started on all of the other ATS myths out there.

The best thing you can do to optimise your application for the ATS is to focus on keywords. Analyse the job description and even the company website and values for keywords and language that are frequently used. Integrate that throughout your application and ding ding ding we'll have a winner 🀩

It's really that simple - much to people's disbelief, the ATS is not a robot that's planning world domination, it's simply a piece of tracking software!

Phew! That was a lot to cover! πŸ₯΅ Implement these 7 tips in your 2022 job applications, and you'll have recruiters fighting over you πŸ˜‰

Until next time, stay badass ⚑️


P.S. Want even more tips on how to build a πŸ”₯ resume? Download my Killer Resume Cheatsheet!

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