A woman who has read over 40,000 résumés says this is the most common mistake job seekers make

ResumeChris Hondros / Getty ImagesThis mistake can cost you your dream job.

Tina Nicolai has read a lot of résumés in her lifetime — both as an HR professional and a career expert.

“I’d say I’ve looked at about 40,000 — and that’s a conservative number,” she tells Business Insider.

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

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

In 2010 she founded Résumé Writers’ Ink.

She says the most common mistake people make today is that they don’t tailor their résumé to the job they’re applying for — they simply send out the same generic document to every company they’re interested in.

“This means they’re sending a résumé with irrelevant information that’s often too general for a hiring manager to use to decide whether they’d be a good fit,” Nicolai explains.

Not tailoring your résumé to the job you’re applying for also tells the hiring manager that you’re not serious about this job or your career, she adds. “It also sends a message that you didn’t do your homework, and that you don’t value your own achievements.”

“It’s not up to the hiring manager to ascertain what a candidate has achieved,” she explains. “It’s up to the candidate to show or prove it by creating a résumé that highlights their skills and achievements that are most relevant or useful to the job at hand.”

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