Career Advice

The Biggest Mistake You’re Making On Your Resume

In a competitive job market, even the smallest mistake on your resume can result in landing you in the “no” pile for a job opening. As you probably realize, your resume is often the ticket to landing the coveted interview with a potential employer. However, one of the biggest mistakes could prevent you from making that next step toward a new job.

The Objective Statement

An objective statement used to be a standard piece of your resume (although, I’m honestly not sure why). They tend to be self-centered in nature—they’re all about you when your resume should be about the company and their needs. Plus, an objective statement is typically too broad or too narrow. For example, “To get an internship or entry-level job with [company you’re applying at]” doesn’t really tell the employer anything they don’t already know. Finally, you’re also wasting those precious lines of space that you could be dedicating to something that tells the employer something useful.

So, what do you put in that space instead?

The Professional Profile or Summary Statement

A professional profile statement is your chance to show the company exactly how you fit into the open position, meaning you need to know the company inside and out—what they desire, value and require of the ideal candidate. How do you fit into the description of the ideal candidate? Include both personal and professional attributes.

For example, perhaps the position you’re interested in requires previous internship experience, knowledge of social media, strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to meet deadlines. The job ad also mentions that ideal candidate would be fluent in Spanish (however, this is not a requirement).

Your profile statement should look something like this: Organized, deadline-oriented professional with two years social media and public relations experience. Strong written and verbal communication skills in both Spanish and English.

Obviously, don’t lie or stretch the truth in your summary statement—only include information that is entirely true! This is your chance to quickly show the hiring manager why you’re a perfect fit for the organization and position.

Ready to get started? Here are some additional tips to successfully write your professional profile statement:

  • Bullets or paragraph-style are both acceptable.
  • Be sure to avoid restating anything you’ve already shared in your cover letter or elsewhere on your resume.
  • Clearly and concisely share your skills, qualifications, education and experience in your profile statement.
  • Use a generalized version of your summary statement in other job search communications, such as your LinkedIn profile.

What other big mistakes do job seekers make on their resumes? How can these mistakes be avoided?