Resume Mistakes To AvoidThrough the eyes of a Recruiter and Human Resources professional, I have been reviewing resumes for years. It is my job to interview the hiring leader and glean from that discussion everything they desire in a candidate. Then, I post the job and screen the resumes coming in. I’m sorry to say the first task is to eliminate as many resumes before I start picking out the qualified candidates.

Resume Mistakes to avoid #1 – The resume makes me work too hard to figure out who the candidate is and what kind of experience they have.

Resume Tip – A clean, direct professional summary at the top.

Resume Mistakes to avoid #2 – The resume is missing keywords that specifically align with the job posting I am recruiting for. This is especially important with technical positions. I’m not a techie and I could miss the relevant experience.

Resume Tip – Make the recruiter’s job easier. Create a section specifically listing industry or job related keywords. Get keywords from the job posting you are applying for. Here is an example from my resume. If I was to apply for an HR position, hiring leaders would know immediately what I could do for their organization.


Employee Relations
Recruiting, Staffing & Outplacement Services
Supervision of Staff
Organizational Development & Integrity
Performance Management

Conflict Resolution & Mediation
Benefits & Records Management
Terminations & Unemployment Disputes
HR Mentoring & Counseling
Customer Relations Focused
Policies, Procedures & Reports
Legal Compliance/Employment Law

Resume Mistakes to avoid #3 – Resume is missing accomplishments. The work experience is just a list of job duties. Outline what you achieved in your current and past positions shows me you want to help my company succeed and you know how to do it. You also make my job easier selling you to the hiring leader.

Resume Tip – Create brief bullet points that clearly identify the action you took and the result of your action. Yes, brag! Forget being humble on your resume.

ACTION ITEM: This week, use the comment section below and list one “accomplishment” bullet point for review. I will share my thoughts and suggested edits with you.

– Heather McBride, SPHR
Resume Writer, Recruiter and Human Resources Consultant