This Woman Reviews Résumés for a Living—Here Are Her 4 Deal Breakers


Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

When you've read over 40,000 résumés like Tina Nicolai has, certain faux pas start to irritate you more than average. But for job seekers, it's those seemingly innocuous errors that make the difference between landing the interview and radio silence. In the spirit of sharing the wealth, Nicolai, who is the founder of Résumé Writers' Ink, a résumé critiquing and editing business, recently revealed the most annoying résumé mistakes to Business Insider. According to the human resources expert, here's what ultimately lands a résumé in the no pile:

Summaries that are too long: "After a while, the summaries can read like a lengthy chapter in a book. It's better to list a few bullets with pointed achievements and a branded tagline stating, 'Known for achieving XYZ.'"

Including too many buzzwords: "A person who truly is a 'unique problem solver who works well in teams' will convey this succinctly and creatively on their résumé through a combination of few words and imagery."

Starting bullets with "responsible for": "Candidates need to understand that starting a sentence with 'responsible for' tells the reader what the job requirements were supposed to be, but it does not state that the candidate actually performed the functions."

Sticking to a template: "Templates are designed as a guide and not intended to be used as a cookie cutter. … [They're] a framework to showcase your personal brand and most importantly your achievements."

For more, read up on the one word that will cost you the job, according to LinkedIn.