A Woman Who Has Reviewed Over 50,000 Résumés Says These are the 7 Most Annoying Mistakes She Sees

by Pranav Ramesh
June 18, 2019
test alt text

When Tina Nicolai began working as a recruiter for Walt Disney World in the late 1990s, she noticed that many job seekers were submitting flawed résumés.

“I realized people simply did not know how to market themselves or their achievements,” Nicolai tells Business Insider. “And that’s how I knew there was a market to educate job candidates at all levels and in all industries.”

So in 2010, she founded Résumé Writers’ Ink. “Since launching my company, I’ve read over 50,000 résumés,” she says. And there are a few mistakes that she’s seen over and over again that are “pretty irritating.”


Related articles from Peterson Technology Partners


Since hiring managers often base their first impression of you on your résumé, it’s imperative that you review it closely before hitting “submit” on your job application. Especially when an opening yields a high volume of eligible, talented candidates, employers may be quick to toss your file in the “no” pile for even the smallest mistake.

So, as you give your résumé a final look, make sure it doesn’t include any of the following faux pas, which employers may find to be annoying. And when in doubt, have a friend or expert give in one last read, too.

According to Nicolai, these are seven of the most annoying mistakes people make on their résumés:

Credit: Wei Ding

Sloppiness

“The biggest mistake job seekers make: They are sloppy. They pay poor attention to detail. They are lazy!”

Nicolai says that she has seen too many résumés with typos, unprofessional fonts, outdated information, and irrelevant information.

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 tag line stating, ‘known for achieving XYZ.’”

Stating the obvious

“Stop stating the obvious!” she says. For example, there’s no need to write “cell phone,” “home phone,” or “email” in front of the phone numbers or email address.

That infamous ‘references’ line

Don’t waste precious résumé real estate with the “References available upon request” line. “Employers know to request references. Save the space and brand yourself with your personal branding statement or add your LinkedIn URL,” says Nicolai.

Starting a bullet point with ‘Responsible for’

This is another “lazy thing” that she has seen too many times on résumés.

“Candidates need to understand that starting a sentence with ‘responsible for’ tells the reader what the job requirements were supposed to be, but it does not state that the candidate actually performed the functions,” Nicolai says. “It does not state that the candidate was successful in these functions. Don’t be lazy: Take the extra few minutes to explain what you accomplished — not what you were expected to accomplish.”

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.”

Being too formal

Finally, she says that 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.

test alt text
Photo Credit: Brooke Lark

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.


You might also enjoy…


About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicago’s premiere I.T. staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 20+ years. Named after Chicago’s historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland. Now based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP’s 250+ employees have narrowed their focus to a single market (Chicago) and 4 core technical areas;

  • Application/mobile/web development and ecommerce
  • Data science/analytics/business intelligence/artificial intelligence
  • Information security/cybersecurity
  • ERP SAP/Oracle and project management/BA/QA

PTP exists to ensure that all of our partners (clients and candidates alike) make the best hiring and career decisions.

Connect: Web | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Review: Google | Glassdoor | Yelp

Apply: Dice | LinkedIn | Monster | Indeed | Glassdoor | All Openings

Peterson Technology Partners is an equal opportunity employer.

Read more on Interview Tips   or related topics Women in STEM   ,
26+ Years in IT Placements & Staffing Solutions

Illinois

1030 W Higgins Rd, Suite 230
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Texas

222 West Las Colinas Blvd.,
Suite 1650, Irving, Texas, 75039

Mexico

Av. de las Américas #1586 Country Club,
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, 44610

Brazil

8th floor, 90, Dolorez Alcaraz Caldas Ave.,
Belas Beach, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
Brazil, 90110-180

Argentina

240 Ing. Buttystreet, 5th floor Buenos Aires,
Argentina, B1001AFB

Hyderabad

08th Floor, SLN Terminus, Survey No. 133, Beside Botanical Gardens,
Gachibowli, Hyderabad, Telangana, 500032, India

Gurgaon

16th Floor, Tower-9A, Cyber City, DLF City Phase II,
Gurgaon, Haryana, 122002, India

Work with us
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
*By submitting this form you agree to receiving marketing & services related communication via email, phone, text messages or WhatsApp. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions for more details.

Subscribe to the PTP Report

Be notified when new articles are published. Receive IT industry insights, recruitment trends, and leadership perspectives directly in your inbox.  

By submitting this form you agree to receiving Marketing & services related communication via email, phone, text messages or WhatsApp. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions for more details.

Unlock our expertise

If you're looking for a partner to help build talent management solutions, get in touch!