The biggest résumé mistake makes recruiters cringe and hiring managers dismiss you immediately

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0Don’t let recruiters catch you making one of the worst résumé mistakes out there.
  • As a former recruiter, I hated when job seekers submitted résumés that lacked a measurable list of achievements.
  • Business Insider reached out to several résumé experts who agree that failing to include specific metrics on a résumé is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
  • Don’t count on your job description to sell what you’ve accomplished.

When sifting through résumés during my time as a staffing manager, it was a huge pet peeve to review bullet points that lacked a measurable list of achievements to substantiate the job seeker’s claims.

In my experience, when candidates failed to provide specific metrics and clear accomplishments on their résumé, they were often overlooked.

Business Insider reached out to various experts on the matter, and many of them agreed that job seekers who fail to include measurements of success are making a huge mistake.

“Lack of measurements and results in the file is my biggest résumé pet peeve,” executive résumé writer and career strategist Adrienne Tom told Business Insider. “Without any measurements of success, the file is lacking proof of skill.”

Overall, a laundry list of daily tasks does nothing to convince the recruiter that the job seeker will be able to provide value in the role at hand.

And while you may say that recruiters could just use job titles to gauge what a person did, this is not nearly as feasible as it might seem.

“A job title alone is not enough to clarify personal value, complexity of skill set, or breadth of expertise,” said Tom. “What matters most in a résumé will be the results that each individual has generated within their roles, regardless of title or rank.”

Also, it is important to remember that job titles do not have universal meaning. Tom explains this concept with the following example:

“A CFO at a small startup may be directing all aspects of daily finance and accounting activities as the only financial expert in the company, whereas a CFO at a major global organisation will likely be focused on overarching financial strategy with several direct reports who manage smaller tasks.”

While it’s a good idea to quantify your success with numbers, your résumé needs to also include language that indicates that you are familiar with the industry.

“Numbers are great, but be sure to include categories, and even clients – anything that will give the reader a sense that you are familiar with the world that the role takes place in,” career expert and résumé writer Andrea Gerson told Business Insider.

By including specific metrics and industry keywords on your résumé, you can show employers what you have done and what you can bring to a specific position.

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