5 Resume Mistakes You Need to Avoid

5 Resume Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Let’s talk about resumes. At some point in your life,
probably sooner than you think, you’re gonna have to
write one of these things. And whether you’re applying
for a job or an internship, or in some cases even a scholarship, your resume is likely
going to be the first thing that the decision maker sees,
when they’re evaluating you. Which means they’re important. Now, because these
things are so important, then any recruiter or hiring manager is obviously gonna give
every one they receive the utmost care and attention, right? Wrong. In reality, most resumes
are never actually seen by a human recruiter. And of those that actually do
make it to a recruiters desk, most are unceremoniously
thrown in the trash after just a few seconds. And this is just a numbers game. In fact, Google alone gets over
1 million resumes per year. And that breaks down to over 2,700 a day. Now, those numbers seem daunting and they can be a little bit intimidating, but there is some good news. Because a lot of people make
some really common mistakes on their resumes that could
put them out of the running. And if you could learn
to avoid those mistakes, you’re gonna have a huge
leg-up on the competition. So, today we are going over five of the worst resume mistakes you can make, and we’re gonna talk about
how you can avoid them so that you get that dream
job that you are going for. The first big mistake we’re gonna go over is the tendency for people to
write their experience section in a way that lists their job duties rather than their jobs accomplishments. But the thing is,
employers do no care about what you were expected
to do at your last job. They care about what you can do for them, and they wanna see concrete examples from your past experience
that point to that. And since most of them
are not Albus Dumbledore and they don’t have a
pensieve sitting in a corner, they can’t just peer into the
past and watch you at work. Which means it’s your
responsibility to clearly and succinctly show what you accomplished in that little amount of space you have. Here’s an example from my own resume. During my senior year, I had a job on campus at
a research department. And I got hired as a web developer and I did maintain the website,
I did make changes to it. But at one point, I also had
a small, probably three hour project where I created
an automation script that ended up saving the
company about 240 hours of work. And since people there were
getting paid about nice bucks an hour, you can do the math
on how much money that saved. Now even though that project
only took me a few hours to do, in the eyes of a hiring manager, it would have been by
far the best indication of my creative problem solving abilities and my ability to save their
company money in the future, out of anything I did there. Now, you might be thinking
to yourself right now, “I don’t have a story like this, “I haven’t saved a company a ton of hours “or thousands of dollars yet.” But what you do have, is the ability to make your
achievements as concrete and as specific as possible,
and to quantify them. To look at another example from my resume. During my junior year, I was a resident advisor at my university. And I could’ve just said, “Helped to smoothly run
a community of students,” but I put 62 students because
that gives a more concrete and quantified example of how
many students I was managing. Big mistake number two
is, believe it or not, typos and grammatical errors. And you might be thinking, “This is the most obvious
boring tip that could ever “be on a video like this.” But it needs to be said because I, myself, have
fallen victim to it. During the summer before
my sophomore year, I was getting ready for the career fair and I created what I thought
was the perfect resume. I had a ton of experiences, tons of clubs, tons of part time jobs
that I could show off. I was thinking, “I’m gonna
go into that career fair, “and I am going to crush
all the competition.” But, to check off all the boxes, I decided to get a resume review from my career counselor first. So, I go into her office, I sit down, and I’m thinking this is going to be a five minute meeting. She’s going to give me
a gold star and say, “Thomas, this was the best
resume I’ve ever reviewed!” But instead, she pulls out a red pen and starts marking stuff up. And as she’s marking things, I start to see that
she’s marking out typos. Things that I did not catch myself. And I thought my resume was perfect. So, if you can, get your resume reviewed
by your career counselor. And if you can’t, at least have somebody that
you trust, who isn’t you, run over it before you
start handing it out. Because we are always more scrutinizing and more careful when we’re
proofreading someone else’s work than our own. The third big mistake is
listing all of your experience in purely chronological order
instead of it’s relevancy to the position you’re applying to. A lot of people think
they’re actually supposed to list their experience
in chronological order. But this is something
that you shouldn’t do because you really don’t
have a whole lot of time to catch the recruiters eye. So you wanna put the most
relevant thing first. In fact, according to a
study done by theladders.com, recruiters spend an
average of just 6 seconds looking at a resume before
throwing it into the trash and going to to the next one. So, if you’re a computer science
major applying for a job, and last summer you did an internship in software development
where you literally built and shipped software, but then
after that you just, like, worked at Burger King during the year. You definitely want to put that software development
internship at the top because a recruiter at a
computer science company is not going to care so
much about Burger King. Now you can definitely go to far here, which means that there is a
balance that has to be struck. In fact, I got an email from somebody in their mid 20s recently
who asked me if it would be a good idea to put a mission
trip they did when they were 11 years old on their resume. And as I was trying to
answer that persons question, I imagined myself as the
hiring director looking at that persons resume. And all I could think of was that something like that on a
resume is gonna look like just grasping at straws. I’m gonna think, “Why isn’t
there anything else you’ve done “in the intervening 15
years, that deserves to kick “that thing off the resume.” Now, maybe this doesn’t apply to people who have already had long
and illustrious careers, who have 20 page CVs and tons of awards on their shelf in their office. But if you are just looking
for an entry-level position, or you’re just a few
years into your career, then recency does matter. The fourth big mistake that
is really common to students especially, is placing to
much emphasis on paid work. A lot of students think that
if they didn’t get paid for it, it doesn’t really count
and it doesn’t belong in that experience section. But here’s the thing, employers don’t actually
look at it that way. Maybe you’re like Ron Swanson. You’ve been working in the quarry since you were 12 years
old and you have tons of part time jobs that you were paid for that you can put on your resume. But most students don’t have
that kind of experience. For the most part, when students are looking for
their first entry-level job, they don’t have a whole lot
of paid work under their belt. And when they do, it’s often
stuff like working at Subway, or flipping burgers, or
working as a cashier. Honorable work to be sure, but it often doesn’t exemplify the traits that recruiters are looking for
in more technical positions. But many times those same students have volunteer experiences,
extracurriculars, and clubs where they did
gain experience in what the recruiters are looking for. And if that’s you, you should definitely
put those experiences right at the top of
your experience section. Don’t hide them away in a
clubs and volunteering section. And that brings us to our
final big mistake on the list, which is using the same resume to apply for every single
position you go for. This is a huge mistake. Because again, you’ve got just six seconds to catch your recruiters eye. So make sure you’re tailoring your resume to every single position
that you’re applying for. If you’re an active student, then it’s more than likely you have a diverse set of experiences and skills. So when you’re going for
a position, ask yourself, what are the exact skills
that are gonna look the best to a recruiter hiring for this position? And make sure you tailor your resume to show those things first. If you have both freelance
writing experience and coding experience, then a writing job is gonna take a different
resume than a coding job. And the other important thing
to note here, to be honest, is that using the same resume to apply for every single
job is downright lazy. And it shows, which is bad, because honestly one of the top qualities that recruiters across every
single industry is looking for, is a clear indication that this candidate is going to go above and beyond. And I can kinda weigh in
here myself at this point, because I actually have
eight people on my team now. And when I’m looking to hire somebody, the top qualities in my
mind are clear work ethic, a clear ability to solve
problems independently, and culture fit. If somebody doesn’t
check those three boxes, then their technical skills
don’t really matter to me. And, on the flip side, if
they do check those boxes and they have a slight deficiency
in the technical skills, that often doesn’t matter
because I know as long as they’re a quick learner and can solve problems, I can train them in those technical areas. Now, when it comes to your resume, the best way you’re going to
demonstrate these qualities is by letting your past
accomplishments speak for themselves by making sure that experience section shows off accomplishments in
a very clear and specific way. But, tailoring your resume to the company and showing that you put effort
into the application process goes a long way as well. Now, that being said, when it comes to showing off
those more intrinsic qualities, your resume is not the
best tool for the job. Honestly, those are
probably gonna come out most in the interview when you have
real face-to-face interaction with that hiring manager. But before the interview happens, another great tool for
showing those qualities is having a website. If you have your own website, then you can build a portfolio
that shows off your work in the way that it was meant to be seen. You can show it off in all its details and you can also show the
process that you used, which shows your work ethic and your problem solving abilities. It also just gives you
a much more customized and vibrant way to present yourself, as you can see from my website here, which is why I think that
every ambitious student should have their own website. Now, if you’re in high school
or you’re early on in college and you’re not ready to build a website for yourself just yet, I do think that you
should, at the very least, go and secure your domain name. I was born just a bit too
late to get thomasfrank.com, but I was able to get my
hands on thomasjfrank.com, which is pretty good. And the earlier that you go
and get your domain name, the less likely it’s gonna be that someone’s gonna go take
it before you have the chance. Now, when you are ready to
go secure that domain name, the best place to do it is over at Hover. With Hover, buying a
domain is easy, it’s quick, and best of all, it doesn’t involve a
bunch of annoying upsells. When it comes to picking
out that domain name, you have a ton of choice, as Hover has hundreds of extensions ranging from the fun ones
like .band and .limo. To the classics that we all know and love like .com and .me. Also, with Hover you can get
a personalized email address with your domain name, which can further boost
your professional presence. And if you want, you can even set it up so that you can send and
receive emails straight from your gmail inbox, which
I’ve been doing for years and I absolutely love. And once you are ready
to build that website, Hovers connect feature will
allow you to easily attach your domain name to tons
of different web services, including Squarespace and Shopify. So, if you do wanna go
lock down that domain name, then go over to hover.com/thomasfrank and the first 100 people
to do so are gonna get 10% off of their first order. Thanks so much to Hover
for sponsoring this video and helping to support this channel, and as always guys, thank
you so much for watching. If there’s something I
didn’t cover in the video that you think would be helpful, definitely share it in
the comments down below. And if you liked this video, give it a like to support this channel. You can also subscribe right there to get new videos every single week, or go right there to get
a free copy of my book on how to earn better grades. If you want, you can also check out our latest podcast episode right there, which is on how to be a
better significant other. Or, if you don’t want to do any of those, Youtube has algorithmically selected a video for you to watch right there. So click it and keep on watching. So thanks for hanging out today guys, and I will see you, as always, next week.

100 thoughts on “5 Resume Mistakes You Need to Avoid

  1. Everyone likes different resumes, including career counselors. I made a resume for a Professional Writing class in college that got a very high A. I asked my uncle for his opinion as he reads several resumes a day. He threw my beautiful resume in the trash can. He gave some great advice- keep it simple! And if you are applying for an entry level job, DON’T outshine the person reading the RÉSUMÉ!!! Only a dumbass would hire their competition!

  2. "Willing to work 18 hours a day", are you willing to pay those 18 hours, or just the 8 hours that you're already underpaying?

  3. I think this video is very informative. The 5 mistakes you told me to avoid really lead to discover what I for myself should do when making a resume.

  4. Second time watching this – we were invited to teach a class on resume writing at a local High School. My part will be the Cover Letter. Any thoughts on resources? Also, I got a domain name through you sponsor – it was easy enough, but I really don't know what to do with a web page now – something more than posting pics of the kids I expect. Anyway – thank you.

  5. I have a personal question, how many orders did you receive for website building in response to this video. I really like this.

  6. What if you don't have any good past accomplishments that are were putting into a resume, or you're not sure if you have any in the first place?

  7. YOOOOOO, that was probably the best transition to a sponsor I have ever seen! I didn't even notice it was a sponsor haha

  8. Here's a tip for you – when making a video on being a professional don't do it in your 12 year old brother's bedroom.

  9. Should I list Main responsibilities handled in previous jobs or just company name designation and accomplishments only ?

  10. Lol @ 6:08… 'Burger Technician'

    Is it true that people use titles that aren't true job titles, and get attention that way?

  11. I just write, im a human that does human things, just like everyone else… So hire me. Plus you only have 6 seconds to get their attention, so write a curse word of your choice really big on the top. Good luck!

  12. Thomas, can you tell me what is the best way to get past a time frame that I was out of work and raising my family as a single dad? I took 2 years off…

  13. Wow! Thank you Thomas Frank! I've been trying to get a job for a while and I never realized until now that I've been using the same resume over and over again to apply to jobs. I realized with some help that my resume wasn't up to par. I've texted, I called, and I met failure several times! Thank you for giving the strength to try again!

  14. i have a question. i have been working in education and finance but if i want to apply a project in my village, i can use that experience in my cv?

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  16. Okay,so don't list you job duties in chronlogical order. Don't have spelling errors.Don't ignore job relevance.Don't ignore unpaid experience. And don't send in the same resume over and over again for every job you apply for right? Thank you Thomas Frank! You earned yourself a like and a subscrime from me! I'm definetly taking your advice now!

  17. why are all the resume vids for college students. i havent been to college so this doesnt apply. im trying to get a job at a factory. does anyone have any tips?

  18. Chronology point is sometimes correct, but mostly not. As a manager who has read 100s of resumes, the chronology means something. When someone does not have their work history in chronological order it is confusing. Sub-dividing work history, then placing the entries in reverse chronological order under a heading, can solve this problem. I have never given an interview to someone who had a resume that was not in chronological order.

  19. I'm speaking for EU 🇪🇺 area. This video is useful for the cover letter, you point out your best skills for the position, language skills, your motivation for work…and when you are available to start the position, maybe you are employed right now and you are looking for a new job and you have 60 days before ending your old job posting and start a new one… Yes you can negotiate to shorten it, but not always… And usually it is expected to send the CV in the form of Europass along with the cover letter or email.

  20. The problem with the cronological order thing is some recruiting sites force you to put your job history in that order.

  21. How would a recruiter know you used the same resume. I could see making slight changes to the resume to fit but not a completely new one.

  22. This video was more helpful than most resume mistake videos who just tell me things I already know. I am one of those people who think you have to put everything in chronological order. Thanks for the info

  23. If anyone wants to learn about working remotely or join a fun & active community, check out www.guavabean.com! We love helping freelancers & digital nomads find their dream jobs. 💕

  24. Always custom tailor your Resume… I am assuming that you mean by general position Because there is not enough time in the day to do a custom resume for each individual job especially when you will need to put out usually 100 applications before getting a single interview.

  25. I have listened to Thomas before. I believe it was when I was looking for information on being a healthcare entrepreneur. This guy has a lot of common sense and must read a heck of a lot. I would follow his instructions anytime. I will finish my master's in healthcare management in two days. I now find myself listening to the same guy just before this master's and right near the end. He is some very special. Thank you, Thomas Frank. I will be back to us hover. Just not tonight.

  26. 6:10
    Durmtrang Department of Residence
    – Occupied an 8’x10’ room for approximately 13 hours per day.
    Raised ambient room temperature.
    Had audacity to put this on resume.



    I just studied and studied and I graduated and now struggling to make one…


    Work Experience:


  28. Rubik's cube skills?! Yes now I can get any job, I learned how to solve a Rubik's cube by myself (ok I did get help learning one algorithm, but whatever), now I'll look super impressive on everything! Thanks for the tip! (Ignore the fact that it takes me on average at least an hour to solve…)

  29. QUESTION: 
    I have recently decided to change majors, and I have extensive work experience, especially since I started working at a young age. There is a lot of variety in the jobs I did, most of them have nothing to do with each other at first glance, but a lot of them have some elements or skills acquired that might be relevant to the job I'm applying to, but the ones I had when I was 18 were closer to the type of job I want to apply to now. Would it be a good idea to include these old job experiences since I also have more recent ones with some skill ties to my current application??? I was 15-19 years old when I had those jobs and I would be 26 by the time I finish this new degree. So there would be about a 7-year gap between them.
    Also, the major I switched from, although I finished most of it but didn't actually get a degree in, could be viewed as relevant to the job as something I had a background in. Would it be a good idea to include it under Education if I never finished it? or would the cons outweigh the pros in this situation???

  30. Can't make these mistakes when your resume is as dry as the Sahara desert. I am not the most outgoing person around. So, never really bothered to join clubs or try to look for internships during my early college years. Doesn't help when the career field I need to go to have way too many "entry level" jobs that are just senior level position disguised as entry level. Can't get those jobs without any experiences and can't get any experience because I can't find a job near me that is actually entry level.

  31. Most of this does not apply to professionals but only to students. Even then, some of these tips are false…sorry but this is what I do every day and anyone following all if these tips will be low on my list.

    Some of what is said here, ie typos, is useful.

  32. I just had the most intense goosebumps i literally wrote notes on this video and wrote PLUS ULTRAAA then he showed ALL-MIGHTO XD

  33. So, how do you judge cultural fitness from a resume?? Or its just Another word invented to discriminate… Oh his name is Mohammad, not a cultural fit..

  34. I used to work 16 hours a day both in Japan and US. Nobody can last in that kind of working conditions, especially in restaurants or warehouses. So, it is not funny that you are mentioning “willing to work 18 hours” In Japan, they do not pay overtime! In the US, one famous restaurant gives you a split shift and you have to work 10 am to 1 am midnight! They don’t pay between 1 pm to 5 pm! It is not funny!

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