5 Biggest Resume Submission Errors
Maximize your job prospects by avoiding these five resume msitakes.
By Angela Rose for Hcareers.com
If you’re looking for a job in the hospitality industry, you need a resume—especially if you intend to use a job board as one of your job search tools. Job boards are still the preferred tool for connecting qualified professionals with hiring managers. In fact, a 2012 survey conducted by Millennial Branding found that 77 percent of professionals between the ages of 18 and 29 years old prefer to use job boards. The number is even higher for those between the ages of 30 and 47 years (82 percent) and 48 and 67 years (87 percent).
Unfortunately, many make mistakes in the process. Some oversights will keep hiring managers from ever seeing your resume. Other blunders will lead them to toss your resume in the trash after mere moments of review. If you want to maximize your employment chances, take care to avoid these top five resume mistakes.
1. Failing to proofread.
Typos, spelling errors, and poor grammar are all resume deal breakers. In fact, a survey by one job board found that 21.3 percent of employers consider this type of error to be the biggest mistake a job seeker can make. Another survey found that more than 60 percent of hiring managers would immediately discard a resume with typos.
Fortunately, submitting a pristine, well-written resume is not impossible—it just takes a little time. If writing isn’t one of your strongest skills, consider recruiting the assistance of a friend or hiring a professional resume writer. Whether you compose it yourself or outsource the task, never rely on Microsoft Word’s grammar and spell check tools alone. Instead, ask at least two knowledgeable associates to proofread the document.
Frequent mistakes include neglecting punctuation, misusing words such as “which” and “that,” or “affect” and “effect,” and misspelling common words.
2. Failing to customize.
More than 19 percent of employers consider submitting a resume that you have not updated for the position to be the biggest mistake an applicant can make. While one-size-fits-all may be fine for a hotel bathrobe, a resume requires a custom fit. This means changing the language in your objective or summary as well as rewording experience and skill descriptions to include relevant keywords (more on that in a moment). You may also want to add or remove portions of your job history and switch up your references as well.
For example, let’s say you’re interested in both front desk and back office hotel positions. Your past jobs have included customer service and accounting roles. You’ll need two resumes, customized accordingly, highlighting the skill set most appropriate to each opportunity.
3. Failing to include keywords.
Many busy employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort through resume submissions. These software programs scan the data in your resume and assign a relevance score based on evaluation. Keywords are one thing ATS always look for, so include them in your skill and experience descriptions. It sounds difficult, but identifying the right words to incorporate is actually quite simple. Just read the job description carefully.
For example, an employer may write, “Busy hotel seeks results oriented and service focused professional to fill front desk management position.” Keywords you should include are “front desk management,” “results oriented,” and “service focused.”
4. Failing to focus on results rather than tasks.
Employers and hiring managers are looking for candidates who can deliver results. Your experience descriptions need to communicate your abilities using details and specifics. Numbers, dollar amounts, and other quantifiable figures are more likely to attract favorable attention than a list of “responsible for” statements.
For example, many professionals describing past front desk experience might write, “Responsible for hotel front desk duties.” A better description would be, “Checked in more than 100 guests daily at a hotel with $3 million in annual sales, reducing average wait time to five minutes.”
5. Failing to keep formatting simple.
Your resume isn’t an art project, and you won’t impress employers with fancy fonts. In fact, unconventional formatting may confuse the ATS and result in a lower relevance score, reducing your resume’s chances of reaching a hiring manager. In the study mentioned earlier, 14.8 percent of employers cited poor format as a big resume mistake.
For best results, keep your name and contact information at the top of the document. Avoid “creative” section headings, sticking instead to standards such as “summary,” “employment history,” and “education.” And if you’re going to include lists, use standard bullet points, as the ATS may misread others.
Avoid these top five mistakes in your resume and improve your chances of landing a new job. For more insight into the hospitality industry, job search tips, and thousands of postings from hotels and resorts around the nation, visit Hcareers.com.
Upload your resume and have employers find you!
About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.