The most common résumé mistake—and more

Featuring Beth A. Berk, CPA, CGMA, independent recruiter

Video transcript:

The most common mistake that I find in résumés is not putting sufficient information in the content to really describe what they have done and achieved. Many times résumés appear to be like a job description, and especially when you are going for the higher-level jobs, or manager-level, supervisor-level, and it doesn’t disclose, for instance, how many people you supervised; or if you are in public accounting, and you prepare or review tax returns and you don’t disclose what type of returns you are reviewing or preparing, what industries your clients are in, what type of software that you are using, so it’s not very informative overall. I think that’s probably the largest mistake that I see, and it’s very common. However, during the interview process it’s really important to disclose what you’ve accomplished and what you have actually done that people can understand in just reading your résumé versus putting it possibly in the cover letter that may or may not be read.

Some mistakes that I see on résumés is indicating that you are currently still at a job when you’re no longer there. I also see a lot of inconsistencies with formatting in terms of the font size, the margins, the spacing, the bullets not being lined up. It looks a little sloppy, and visually to somebody who is receiving your résumé, if somebody is not taking a lot of time to scan the résumés on first glance to put into the pile for moving forward in the process, if your résumé appears to be visibly sloppy it’s very possible you will be overlooked. Especially in jobs that require some writing skills, a lot of that is looked for in terms of communication in the public accounting arena these days. A lot of employers want to make sure that you’re going to be able to correspond by email, and the only indication they may have is looking at your résumé.

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