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How long do you think a hiring manager takes to evaluate a resume? Thirty minutes? Ten minutes? Five minutes?

In reality, nearly one quarter of hiring managers spend about 30 seconds looking at a resume, according to CareerBuilder, and most others don’t spend much more time than that. That means that in today’s competitive job market, a resume needs to be smart, efficient, and provide that “wow factor” if it is going to get the attention of an HR manager or executive. While resumes are limited by nature and can’t fully represent your personality and passion, they are an effective way to get your foot in the door and land an in-person interview. 

Conversely, a poorly-constructed resume can turn potential employers away. According to Business News Daily, about 70% of employers say that certain resume mistakes would cause them to reject a candidate before finishing the application.

College students and recent graduates don’t have it easy. It takes the average college student between 3 and 6 months to find their first job, and many times that job isn’t even in their preferred industry. In addition, COVID-related job losses are flooding some industries with additional candidates. For these reasons, it’s more important than ever for candidates to evaluate their resumes for common errors. 

Here are 10 common resume mistakes you may be making. 

  1. Submitting a general resume that isn’t customized for a specific job or company
  2. Leaving gaps in your employment history or giving unclear employment dates 
  3. Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments
  4. Using a visually busy or confusing design
  5. Not proofreading the resume for grammatical and spelling errors
  6. Not including key words from the job description
  7. Leading with irrelevant or supplemental information
  8. Using an objective that doesn’t match the position description
  9. Ignoring application submission instructions
  10.  Being too modest or vague when describing professional accomplishments

When you submit a resume, make sure you read it though for these common mistakes. It can be helpful to have a friend, family member or career support professional proofread the document as well. 

RecDiv is the first online job platform created specifically for students and alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. RecDiv connects employers with qualified candidates from HBCU and provides students with the career tools and resources they need to succeed. Check out our site to learn more.