5 Resume Mistakes You Want to Avoid

Lisa McDonald 05/08/2018 Recent News

I’ve worked in Human Resources for over 20 years in four different industries. In my career I’ve seen the same mistakes repeated on resumes across all industries. But in the field of Integrative and Functional Medicine I’m seeing a mistake I rarely experienced in manufacturing, sales, or in the financial industry.

Let’s start with the common mistakes made industry wide.

1. Errors: Typos, Bad Grammar, Incorrect Information.
Sometimes a resume stands out for the wrong reason. It seems obvious but it happens regularly. A CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos.

This is your first contact with an employer, and if you have errors on your resume, it could be your last. Make sure you use spell check and if you don’t have a trusted peer to review your resume, there are professional resources where you can find help. If you want to make sure the grammar is correct and everything flows you can hire professionals through platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.

And make sure your contact information is correct or you may miss an important message. On many occasions, I’ve tried to call someone and the number was wrong. Or I receive a reply to my sourcing email 2 months later because the candidate didn’t check that mailbox regularly. Your resume should have an email address you check regularly.

2. Your resume format is too complicated.
I’ve seen candidates get caught up in creating a unique resume in hopes it will stand out, but if you’re not a graphic designer looking for a job this attempt can back fire. A hiring manager will start to lose interest if the resume is hard to read or they can’t easily identify that you have the basic qualifications for the position, which encourages them to take a closer look.

There’s no need to use a lot of different fonts or colors. Keep it organized, simple and easy to read. In our field, they want to see your experience, credentials and education. They aren’t looking for the state of the art resume; they’re looking for a candidate who is educated and passionate about state of the art medicine.

3. Generic Resume.
One size does not fit all. You should write the resume specifically for the position to show the employer why you’re the right person for their role. Remember, it’s just a quick glance over your resume at first. You want to capture their attention so they will take the time to dive deeper to determine if you are the right fit. You need to tailor the resume for each position you’re applying.

One easy fix for this is starting off with an objective or summary statement. Don’t just say you’re looking for a job in Integrative and Functional Medicine, show them why they should hire you. Their job posting states what they are looking for so look through that closely, as well as the employer’s website. Now you can write a summary as an introduction about yourself detailing your skills and experience that make you a perfect fit for their position.

If you’re applying for a job at a large organization, they may use recruiting software that searches for keywords in the position. If you don’t have those keywords in your resume, you may not even get a view from a recruiter. It takes more time to customize your resume for the position, but if you’re truly interested in the opportunity it’s worth the time.

If I review a cookie-cutter resume with no customization for the position, my first glance interprets that the candidate isn’t very interested in this position and is just blasting their resume out to all openings.

4. Too Much Personal Information.
Your age, marital status, race, ethnicity, religious or political affiliations don’t belong on a resume. A hiring manager wants to know about your experience, education, skills and credentials. In our field, hobbies can be relevant because they show your passion towards lifestyle medicine – you practice what you preach. But the other personal details are not relevant. Leave out anything that could trigger bias.

And finally, the mistake I’m seeing too often on resumes in Integrative and Functional Medicine.

5. Not Including Your Integrative and Functional Medicine Education.
I mentioned in a previous Blog the importance of including your education in your LinkedIn profile. I also discussed my surprise when I don’t see a candidate include their education in the field on their resume or website.

If you want to gain the attention of the hiring manager, make sure to include your education in the field on your resume and ensure that it will be easy to see. Don’t hide your education deep in your resume or at the bottom.

Getting education in Integrative and Functional Medicine sets you apart and shows your dedication to working in patient-centered care. A hiring manager will give you a closer look when they see this.

In other industries, I noticed candidates never left out advanced education they obtained and it was always in their LinkedIn profile. It’s critical to showcase advanced education in Integrative and Functional Medicine as well. A hiring manager will recognize your credibility in the field and it builds trust with patients.

If you have a website you should include your education in Integrative and Functional Medicine in your Bio. And highlight Certifications, Fellowships and Board Certifications on your landing page. Patients are becoming savvy in vetting their practitioners. They’ll be more confident about choosing you if they see you’ve obtained education in the field from an accredited or reputable institution.

Your Best Marketing Tool Can Open Doors

Your resume is your best marketing tool when seeking a new opportunity. Make sure it is easy to read, targeted to the opportunity, accurate and comprehensive in showcasing all your credentials, experience and education. This one snapshot of your career can open the door to your dream job.