You've been sending out job applications for months, but you haven't heard back from any potential employers yet. You're starting to think you'll never get a job. If this sounds like you, don't lose hope in your job hunt — a few changes to your resume could make all the difference.
Sometimes the smallest mistakes or omitted details can turn a great resume into another ignored and deleted email. You can have all the qualifications and skills you need for the job, but hiring managers won't see it if your resume raises red flags or isn't accurately reflecting and highlighting what you have to offer. [10 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out ]
We asked hiring managers and business owners what mistakes they frequently see on resumes and how to fix them. Before you send out another resume, make these 10 changes. You might just get hired sooner than you think.
List employment dates by month and year
"When headhunters or gatekeepers see dates on your resume that don’t include months, they automatically assume something’s wrong. If they suspect you’re hiding a gap in employment, they’ll assume the worst, and they’ll view you as dishonest for attempting to deceive them. If they’re busy, they’ll trash the resume instead of wondering what the gaps are about." – Giacomo Giammatteo, owner and author, Inferno Publishing Company
Identify and delete irrelevant experience
"One resume mistake many people make is that they feel obligated to include every job — including part-time work — that they've had since college. For example, including that you were a 'Subway Sandwich Artist' for three months is superfluous if you're applying for a technology job, unless of course the company's technology improves the sandwich-making process. Including information like this shows laziness and a general lack of understanding." – Joshua Goldstein, co-founder, underdog.io
Get specific with data, statistics and examples
"If you're going to boast about increasing sales or improving process efficiency, support these claims with real statistics and an explanation of how you accomplished these feats. When I read 'improved department sales revenue' on a resume, I'm not convinced." – Tyson Spring, co-founder and vice president of business development, Elever Professional
De-fluff your job descriptions
"One of the biggest mistakes I have seen in resumes floating around today is people amplifying their qualifications with fancy words. They are not lying on their resume, they are just turning a task they once completed into years of experience. Once you sit down with them and utilize them in something practical, you quickly realize their resume was a lot of hot air and little practicality. [For example] being in charge of a company's Facebook page for a few months is usually relayed on a resume as 'Online Marketing Director.'" – Victoria Ley, president, FashionStork
Cut out clichés
"Words such as 'strong', 'effective' and 'motivated' are clichéd business buzz words that communicate very little about a candidate's capabilities. Candidates who use these types of words stand out for being mediocre and I quickly skip over candidates who use these words. Candidates who do not use repetitive words and have consulted a thesaurus to vary their word choice on a resume grab my attention. I like seeing candidates who have a high vocabulary and know how to properly employ their thoughts with unique distinction." – Sandra Powers, hiring manager, Lawyer Reviews
Remove or replace your objective
"A lot of people still include an objective on the resume, but having an objective can hurt more than it helps. You want to show the employer what you can do to help the company, not what you're looking for from an employer. To fix this, you can either take out your objective completely, or replace it with a brief summary of your skills and abilities that can be an asset to the company." – Sam Kim, founder, Define The Resume
Get rid of obvious skills
"Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are no longer skills to call out on your resume. These days, employers assume that all good applicants have a working knowledge of the Office suite. Instead, use that space to highlight experience with more advanced technical tools in your sector, e.g., SQL, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Mixpanel and Adobe Creative Suite. These skills are very compelling to employers and will help you stand out from other contenders." – Maisie Devine, co-founder and CEO, Poacht
Make it more reader-friendly
"Write a resume that has a clean, neat and simple-to-read layout. Many times people try to invent and do something new, but forget that employers read hundreds and thousands of resumes and want to quickly find what they are looking for." – Hugo Pereira, product and digital strategist, Talentsquare
Add relevant keywords
"The mistake I see most job applicants make on their resume is not including any keywords from the job description they are applying to. If I have no way of matching their skills to the skills in the job description, I cannot move that person forward in the process." – Stephanie Lindquist, co-founder, The Love Your Job Project
List education information lower on the page
"When moving beyond the entry- and intern-level position, schooling, education and GPA no longer need to be listed at the top — your experience should speak for itself." – Hannah Landau, director of media, Post+Beam
Originally published on Business News Daily.