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 realised 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 40,000 résumés,” she says.
And there are a few mistakes that she’s seen over and over again that are “pretty irritating.”
“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Nicolai says that she has seen too many résumés with typos, unprofessional fonts, outdated information, and irrelevant information.
2. 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.'”
3. 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.”
4. 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.”
5. 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.
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