How People Wreck Their Careers

Sydney, New South Wales, 7th September 2023, ZEX PR WIRE, As the founder of Advance Yourself Career Services with more than 25 years of experience in helping people move forward in their careers, Tom Hannemann has seen many experienced professionals, managers and executives unintentionally sabotage their careers through avoidable mistakes in their resumes. In this article, we’ll explore some of these detrimental actions and learn how to create a strong and compelling resume that helps boost your career prospects. 

  • Too Much Jargon and Too Many Acronyms

A common blunder many people make is to overload their resumes with industry-specific and company-specific jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations. While these terms may be understood by colleagues within your field, it becomes a barrier for people outside your organisation or industry. Your resume should engage a broad audience. Using too many specialised terms and abbreviations can alienate hiring managers and recruitment consultants. Opt for clear and straightforward language that anyone can understand, emphasising your capabilities and higher-level thinking and skills.

  • A Focus on Duties rather than Achievements

Many resumes look like repurposed job descriptions or duty statements by listing every task and responsibility of each role. This is a wasted opportunity. Hiring managers and recruitment consultants already know the typical responsibilities of the roles for which they are hiring. Focus on highlighting your achievements, the value you added, the impact you have had and the significance of what you have done. Where possible, provide tangible evidence of the benefits of your contributions. 

  • Meaningless Words

Certain words tend to clutter resumes without adding value. Steer clear of using generic terms such as “responsible for,” “assisted with,” “contributed to,” “closely”, “key”, and “significant.” Instead, provide concrete evidence of your skills and accomplishments. Ditch empty claims like “strategic”, “dynamic”, “passionate”, “energetic” or “committed” unless you can back them up with specific examples of how you demonstrated those qualities. And, please don’t use the word “seasoned”… ever. And, if you use the word “stakeholders,” tell the readers of your resume who the stakeholders are. 

  • Errors

Spelling, typographical, and grammatical errors on your resume can ensure that your resume goes straight into the bin. While some recruiters and hiring managers overlook mistakes, most don’t. Avoidable mistakes may lead potential employers to question your attention to detail and professionalism. Always double-check your resume for errors, apply Word’s spelling and grammar checking function and use a tool such as Grammarly.

  • Embellishments and Fibs

Never lie, embellish, or exaggerate your qualifications, work history, or achievements on your resume. It’s very easy for recruitment consultants and internal recruiters to verify what you say in your resume. Dishonesty can lead to irreparable damage to your career and reputation. Present your abilities and experience in an authentic way that can be corroborated and focus on how you can make a can contribute.

  • Irrelevant Personal Information

Don’t provide personal details such as your date of birth, physical address, political affiliations, irrelevant personal interests or marital status. They are unnecessary and occupy valuable space. They could also create biases or alienate some employers. Only include information directly related to the roles you are pursuing.

  • Criticising People

Don’t criticise former or current employers, colleagues, or managers in your resume. Even if you’ve faced challenging situations, maintain a professional tone, and focus on your achievements and contributions. Diplomacy and tact are highly valued traits and reflect positively on you.

  • Not Protecting Confidentiality

Sharing sensitive or confidential information about the organisations in which you have worked, such as financial performance, future business plans, or unreleased products, is a career blunder. Employers need to trust that you will handle sensitive data with discretion. Maintain confidentiality and focus on discussing your contributions without revealing proprietary information.

  • Overusing Graphics

Unless you are applying for a position in graphic design, avoid excessive use of graphics and complex resume designs. Many of the applicant tracking systems used by most recruitment firms and larger employers might not recognise graphics, potentially leading to the loss of important text or distorted formatting. Keep your resume simple and easy to read, using a clean and professional format.

  • Listing all your Projects

If you’ve managed or been involved in numerous projects, don’t just list them. Instead, select the most significant, talk about the impact and benefits of these projects, and indicate the challenges you overcame to achieve the outcomes. Highlighting your management and leadership skills and accomplishments will set you apart from other applicants and make you a more compelling candidate.

By avoiding these common pitfalls and following the advice of experienced career experts like Tom Hannemann, you can create a resume that showcases your skills, accomplishments, and potential, significantly increasing your chances of landing the job you want. Keep it clear, concise, and focused on your achievements to demonstrate the value you can add.

To learn more about Advance Your Career Services, visit their website, go to Tom’s YouTube channel for valuable insights, or connect with him directly on LinkedIn

Contact: Tom Hannemann

Email: [email protected] 

Published On: September 7, 2023