Resume Writing – Common Mistakes

Resume Writing

by David Sprinkle

With over fifteen years in the employment services industry, I have evaluated thousands of resumes over the years.  The one common trait that I’ve found, especially when looking at Accounting and Finance resumes, is that most people have a very difficult time writing their own resume and many of them make the same errors.

Below are some of the most common mistakes I see on Accounting and Finance resumes and how to quickly fix yours:

MISTAKE #1: Starting Your Resume with an “Objective”

THE FIX: Get rid of the “Objective” section all together.  Think of your resume as a Marketing Flyer that is designed to be attractive to your ‘Target Audience’….so, forget about what you want and focus your resume on what you can do for a future employer (IE. help them make money and/or save money).

MISTAKE #2: Long Paragraphs of Text

THE FIX: You have 30 seconds of your readers attention before they decide to either pick up the phone and call you, read more or hit the delete button.  Make your resume easy to read by putting all information in bullet format, and each bullet should not be more than two lines of text.

MISTAKE #3: Listing Only Duties & Responsibilities

THE FIX: Make sure that you quantify in $$$ how you created value for a previous employer.  Jobs exist to create value for the company by increasing revenues, reducing costs, and innovating new products/services.  Showing your future boss that you have the ability to get results will help them realize that if they hire you they will get a return on investment.

MISTAKE #4: Information Overload

THE FIX: Most people put a resume together right out of college and then keep adding to it throughout their career and before too long the resume is over two pages.  Keep in mind you only have to go back 10 years on your resume, so any experience older than that can be taken off as it’s not relevant.  Also, the farther back you go the less detail you need to provide…the bulk of the information that you show should be reserved for your most recent positions.

Remember, your resume is a marketing flyer that should be designed, both in content and layout, to attract and compel your target audience (IE. the hiring manager at your future employer) to pick up the phone and interview you.  Making the changes I suggest will help keep your resume out of the ‘circular file’ and get your foot in the door.

~By David Sprinkle, Managing Partner at Veritas Recruiting Group.  Veritas specializes in placing top-tier accounting and finance professionals in Central Florida.  For more information, please visit: