The 3 Most Common Resume Mistakes

30Sep11
Resume Mistakes

Image from salary.com

Tara Kachaturoff of TeachMeLaw Radio and I spoke recently about the legal resume mistakes I see most often. Honestly, lawyers and laypeople make the same mistakes but the question was focused on legal resumes.

Read the bolded language in the interview transcript below to see what the three most common resume errors are that I see in my practice.

Tara: … share three mistakes that you most often see on the legal resumes that come across your desk, of people that you are working with, that you’re helping. What are some of those mistakes that you see?

Jessica: The mistakes I see most often are formatting errors. Someone who’s going to see your resume, the first thing they’re going to see is the format. They’re not even going to read it if there’s the formatting error. That’s one of the biggest problems and that can be anything from a missing comma to the dash or the hyphen in between the dates. It should all be the same. That’s the first thing I always look for.

Another problem is people having objectives. Your objective is to get the job. That’s obvious by the fact that you sent your resume. If you need to summarize your work, summarize it. Call it a summary. Call it whatever you like, but do not have an objective. It’s too easy to write, “My objective is to get a job at XYZ Firm,” and you send that to ABC Firm and then ABC calls XYZ and you’re not getting either jobs. That happens all the time.

Tara: Really?

Jessica: All the time.

Tara: That’s hard to believe.

Jessica: Yeah, it’s all the time. Check your contact information, because that may not have been updated since you’ve moved. Or you typed that quickly, because you already know that and you really want to focus on the body of your resume. Have somebody call you from the number on your resume. If they can’t get in touch with you, that’s going to be your biggest problem. Also, just listing job tasks and not what you’ve accomplished doesn’t do anything to differentiate you.

Tara: Right.

Jessica: If you’re in a large group of associates and you’re doing the group project. You’re going to do your part differently than everybody else, because you’re an individual person. That’s what you need to describe on your resume. Quantifying. You might not know every number and that’s OK. You can generalize annually, often, weekly. Try to get some numbers on your resume. They just make sense to people.

Thank you Casting Words for this transcript.

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