7 Deadly Sins of Writing a Resume

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Introduction: Welcome to the real world. 80% of resumes are thrown out in less than 11 seconds. Usually because of these 7 deadly sins of resume writing.

Not getting called back usually has less to do with your skill, and everything to do with your resumes getting thrown in the trash.

Getting to the interview is super important considering about 1/5 interview candidates. Extremely higher chances.

Overcome interview anxiety here.

1.) Typos and Grammar errors

Do not rely on Microsoft Word grammar check. The sentence “Bagel is a tombstone big bone funny“. Will not be found in Microsoft word as an error.

Yes, we know, it’s probably the most obvious of all resume tips: It needs to be grammatically perfect.

However, if their easy enough to be found by the employer, it automatically takes you out of the running.

2.) Job Titles

The second deadly sin. Managers are people too. They like to be impressed. Bringing in a rock star hire is a bonus for them as well. Especially when they can do so, within such a short time to review each resume.

Creating standout job titles helps you seem more professional.Standing out from other applicants.

Appealing Job titles:

Rockstar Job TitleGeneric Job Title
HVAC Sales Representative
Telemarketer
Sanitary engineer Janitor
Landscaper Lawn cutter

3.) Broad Search for Jobs

In the 21st century, people apply for jobs from all over the world. Shotgun applying works less, because now the average manager can choose from 100’s of applications.

It’s better to apply to 10 jobs in your field and stand out. Versus applying to 100’s and competing with thousands of applicants.

Pro tip:

Pick a job/field you want to work. Then apply to those jobs. Want to be a web developer, and a graphic designer? Create a web developer based resume. Then create another graphic designer resume.

Most people only need one job. Rather than wasting time applying to millions of crappy jobs. Why not apply focus on getting one solid job.

Managers choose job applicants like how people choose restaurants.

For example, you’re new in town, and in the mood for pizza You see a shawarma spot that happens to sell pizza. Then we see a pizzeria.

10 times out of 10 we choose the pizzeria. That’s just the safer option. Even though the other restaurant might be better.

Applying to more jobs isn’t the answer to a weak resume. Most times it is beating the competition. Shooting for a specific job makes you stand out!

4.) Applying with one method

Writing a resume for an online site is a deadly sin. It’s easy to automatically upload a resume to indeed.com. However, you’re simply limiting yourself to just those jobs.

Many people only use indeed.com/monster etc. Because it is ‘easy’. Whelp, that’s the most popular job site in the world. Meaning everybody does it, so results aren’t as determined.

  • Have you tried
  • Job Agency
  • Employment Agency
  • Google searching e.g. “Carpenter job in Toronto”
  • Try other websites: Eluta Neuvoo Craigslist
  • Posting flyers near your home
  • Messaging people with a job on LinkedIn

5.) Not skimmable

A disgusting resume writing sin. The hardest workers suffer from this sin. Because they try to pack all their accomplishments into one page.

Glass door survey says managers skim through resumes for an average of 6 seconds.

Managers don’t need to find the best candidate, they just need to find somebody that’s able to do the job. The interview is to see how good you actually are.

6.) Unprofessional / Irrelevant info

Unprofessional:

  • Mention of drugs/alcohol/video games etc.
  • Begging or saying “I really need the job”- *trust me I’ve gotten these before.
  • Saying that you’re a good person / hard-worker.

Irrelevant: useless information

  • No mention of religion/hobbies, unless relevant: Stop saying you love to play volleyball if you’re job has nothing to do with sports, athletics or health.
  • Email should be some variation of your name: John.Doe22@gmail.com Not BarbieDoll79@hotmail.com
  • The skills listed should be relevant to the job applied

7.) The Resume is too Complicated / Difficult to Read

The average age of an HR manager is 42. Most managers are not as Tech-Savvy as you believe them to be. A difficult to read resume is a turn off. Key tip, bring a hard-copy of your resume to each interview.

  • Not in PDF format
  • Too colorful (if applicable)
  • No templates w/ designs.
  • Too long: Longer than one-page Resume
  • No words should be written sideways.
  • Lack of point form
  • No headings.

8.) No Resume Portfolio

I know I said 7 deadly sins. Rather than make this a second post. I decided to add on an 8th deadly sin. Missing a resume portfolio.

This isn’t exactly a resume error, even though it’s one of the deadliest sins of them all. A portfolio is like a free sample/trial to a product. In this case the product is the applicant(you).

Why do I need a Portfolio?

Having a portfolio is proof that you are serious about working in a desired field. Managers are able to trust an applicants resume, if the skills on the resume are shown to them.

Portfolio’s also help employers find you. How much easier is the hiring process when you have clients coming to you. Looking for work.

Research study suggests approximately 80% of jobs are not posted online. Creating a portfolio allows employers to find you. Job searching becomes a whole lot easier.

Portfolios give you experience. When you can show years worth of work you’ve been doing on your own. That allows you to apply to hire paying jobs as well.

Check out this quote:

“I planned a fundraising event from beginning to end” is one thing—showing the event invitation, program, budget, and volunteer guidelines you put together is completely another.” – Chrissy Scivicque

Make the managers job easy, and I promise you will get more callbacks.

How do I build a resume portfolio?

Simple, pick a job/field that you want to join. Then create content about it. Add a link of your portfolio on your resume that employers can click on to be amazed by your effort/expertise!

Do you have a psychology degree but can’t find any work?
Show your passion for psychology by having content related to psychology.


Portfolio ideas

  • YouTube Channel
  • Quora profile: Answer psychology questions
  • Reddit profile: Answer psychology questions
  • Podcast: Start from your phone on anchor.fm
  • Blog: Start for free on medium.com
  • Coaching Service
  • E-book
  • Poetry
  • Public speaking

All of the above counts as a portfolio.


Want a free resume critique? Contact me.

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