5 Typical Resume Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes
Watch out for five common resume errors before applying for your next job position.
By Angela Rose for Hcareers.com
Google “resume rules” and the search will return more than 129,000,000 results. With such a quantity of information readily available, it’s hard to believe that nearly every hospitality professional continues to make mistakes on this important job search document. Not all the errors are horrendous, of course, but they don’t have to be to damage your employability—especially when you’re competing against dozens of equally qualified candidates for a hotel or restaurant job. Before you apply for your next position, eliminate these typical mistakes from your resume.
1. Beginning your resume with an objective.
Objectives have gone the way of the dinosaur, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at most hospitality resumes. Experts now recommend ditching that tired, old paragraph for a fresher, marketing-focused approach. Try substituting a succinct headline that describes the type of role for which you’re applying. Then add a subhead that highlights a few of your qualifications. For example, you might write something like, “Senior Sales Manager,” then add, “A decade of experience maximizing room revenues and profits” beneath.
2. Organizing your resume chronologically with irrelevant work experience.
Hotel and restaurant hiring managers and human resource professionals often spend mere seconds scanning each resume before selecting candidates for further review. Ensure they note your most relevant hospitality experience by including the details for your most recent job at the top of the list. You can then include the rest in reverse chronological order. Additionally, if you’ve been a cook or server for decades, you don’t need to include more than your last ten years of employment.
3. Submitting a resume without keywords.
Many hospitality employers use applicant tracking software to facilitate the hiring process. The software is generally programmed to scan each resume and rank it according to relevance. Keywords are an essential component; if you haven’t included keywords that match those the employer has selected, it’s unlikely the hiring manager will ever review your resume. Fortunately, you can improve your relevancy score by customizing the document for every hotel or restaurant position. Include keywords culled from the job posting such as, “guest services,” “guest satisfaction,” “scheduling,” “training,” and “supervisory experience.”
4. Favoring responsibilities over accomplishments.
Using phrases such as “duties included” and “responsible for” is a major mistake all too many hospitality professionals make. These statements tend to result in resumes that are merely lists of past chores. Whether you’re applying for a front desk supervisor, spa director, line cook, or floor manager job, employers are much more interested in quantifiable accomplishments. For example, instead of writing, “responsible for recognizing and addressing potential guest concerns” you could substitute, “Addressed guest concerns, increasing customer satisfaction by an average of 40 percent.”
5. Submitting a resume with cluttered formatting.
Remember, once hiring managers get their hands on your resume, you have mere seconds to capture their attention. Cluttered formatting—including unreadable fonts, large blocks of text, and tiny margins—makes it more difficult for employers to scan and understand the details within. Fortunately, this mistake is easy to avoid with judicious use of white space, bolded headlines and simple, bulleted lists in a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
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About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.
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