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Common Mistakes in TPM Resumes

A resume is the first impression that a candidate makes on a prospective employer. The value of a resume will never diminish even if we have LinkedIn or apply through our network. It is essentially a 1-page flier to sell yourself - to tell the world about why they should hire you. The effort (or the lack of it) comes across and tells a lot about a potential hire. One doesn’t need to get all fancy; in fact plain old boring is just fine as long as you let the content do the talking. However, avoiding common mistakes in TPM resumes is crucial for making a strong impression.

6 seconds is all you have to grab the attention of a prospective recruiter or hiring manager.

Improving TPM Resumes: Tips for Avoiding Common Resume Mistakes

As a hiring manager, I have seen hundreds of badly written resumes with mistakes, typos, incorrect grammar and mundane details which distract from the content or leave a negative impression. Many good candidates do not make the cut because their resume doesn’t represent their work in the best possible way. Their TPM resumes do not have powerful and relevant material that would make the hiring manager compelled to set up an interview and instead end up in the reject pile. Avoiding mistakes in TPM resumes is essential for securing interviews and standing out as a top candidate.

Here are some of the most common mistakes I have come across in TPM resumes and why they matter. A huge shout out to my recruiter friend Andrea Jajcanin for graciously sharing tips to grab attention and what recruiters look for in resumes.


Format & Language

  • Formatting inconsistently which distracts the reader from the core content.

    • Randomly bolded phrases and too many font styles

    • Fancy or colorful fonts, icons, boxes, tables etc

  • Using incorrect grammar and statement construction that demonstrate lack of good written communication skills.

    • Random usage of past, present and future tense

    • Using Nouns, verbs or numbers inconsistently to start sentences

  • Using too many technical or domain specific jargon and acronyms without explanation which excludes non-experts.

  • Making resumes longer than 2 pages (1 page if you have <10 years experience) which shows inability to be clear and concise.

  • Sharing editable (.doc, .docx) resumes with recruiters and hiring managers. With different OSs (Mac, Windows…) editable documents usually get messed up in formatting or cannot be opened. Improving TPM resumes involves addressing these common pitfalls to ensure clarity and compatibility.


Core Content

  • Missing a clear objective for the reader to understand your desired role and why you are the right person for it

  • Failing to mention your unique selling proposition or what you bring to the table so prospective hiring managers understand your value.

  • Describing the program in too much detail and not providing enough space for your own contribution towards making that program successful

  • Lacking clear distinction between accomplishments and day to day responsibilities.

  • Failing to focus on the impact or results of the program and rather focusing on a bunch of activities performed.

    • “Conducted Standups”, “Created Jira tasks”, “Held weekly meetings”, “Wrote status reports”

  • Using weak language that trivializes the work performed instead of bringing out strengths.

    • “Facilitated”, “Coordinated”, “Took over”, “Helped”, “Supported”

  • Using too many subjective adjectives and adverbs instead of hard quantifiable data and objective language.

    • “Several”, “many”, “significantly”, “faster”, “much”, “extremely”

  • Adding irrelevant details about activities performed that are not a core part of the role.

    • “Interviewed many candidates”, “participated in recruiting events”

  • Using a LinkedIn profile in place of a proper resume or not providing resumes in a timely manner when requested.


Remember, recruiters scan a resume for an average of six seconds. They are looking for numbers, powerful language and relevant job titles before they decide if the resume should be passed on to hiring managers. Keeping it simple like using standard fonts - Arial or Times New Roman font without colors is always better. Hiring managers are looking for relevant experience and strong contributions to feel confident that a potential candidate can handle the complexity of the job. Avoiding mistakes in TPM resumes is crucial to ensure your qualifications are highlighted effectively within that brief window.

Treat your resume as the foundation to your career ladder. If the first step is broken, how will you get to the next?

With the right effort, you can build a strong and powerful resume that makes the right first impression and will help you land interviews from your dream companies.

 
  • Are you still overwhelmed about how to write a powerful resume?

  • Do you feel like your resume is going into a black hole?

  • Are you still unclear why you are not getting calls from recruiters?

  • Are you trying to land your dream role in FAANG and other top tech companies?

  • Do you feel like you don’t have time to write out a customized resume for each job?


 

Want to dive deeper into writing a powerful resume and Cracking the TPM Interview? Check out TPM Academy for more resources.


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What are some common mistakes people make on their TPM resumes?

Common mistakes include:

  • Inconsistent Formatting: Distracts from core content.

  • Excessive Fonts and Styles: Using fancy or colorful fonts, icons, boxes, tables, which can look unprofessional.

  • Grammar and Language Errors: Incorrect grammar, random tense usage, inconsistent sentence structures.

  • Technical Jargon: Overusing technical terms and acronyms without explanations.

  • Length: Resumes longer than 2 pages (or 1 page for <10 years experience).

  • Editable Formats: Sharing .doc or .docx files that may get distorted on different systems.

  • Lack of Clear Objective: Missing a clear statement of the desired role and why you are the right fit.

  • Unfocused Content: Focusing on tasks rather than accomplishments and impact.

  • Weak Language: Using words like “facilitated,” “coordinated,” without showing strong impact.

  • Irrelevant Details: Including activities not core to the TPM role.

How can I avoid focusing on just my duties in my resume?

My resume is full of generic statements. How can I make it impactful?

What are some strong action verbs I can use for my TPM experience?

I'm applying to many TPM jobs. Should I have one generic resume?




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