Recruiters and hiring managers are experts at reading resumes. In seconds (latest count was 6 seconds to be exact) they can find disqualifying factors in your resume. Don’t let this happen to you! Here are a few of the top pet peeves:
1. Mistake: Generic resume. In a time when it is so very important to stand out from the competition (other job seekers), don’t submit a generic resume. You must show relevance in your experience to the particular job you are applying for. One resume does not fit all situations.
Solution: Create a customized resume for each job opportunity you are applying for. If you have a solid resume, it should only take some minor tweaking to show the talent and expertise you have to meet the qualifications of a position. Mirroring a few words from the job description helps a lot!
2. Mistake: Resume format and style. Is your resume reader friendly? Are you using the latest multi-national style with common fonts? Do you have sufficient white space in the overall resume? Are you still using bulky paragraphs, or are you showcasing your achievements in bullet form? Is the resume too wordy?
Solution: Boil down to the salient aspects of your career achievements so the resume focuses on the job you are submitting the resume for. You don’t need to include every job you’ve ever worked since high school (that is unless you are a recent college grad). Use standard fonts and accepted type styles. While lines, graphics, and color are nice, make sure they work for you and your target audience.
3. Mistake: Poor grammar & spelling. While resumes don’t follow traditional grammar rules, there should be some sense to the sentence structure and use of words (Ex: hear or here, there or their). And spelling errors are simply inexcusable these days with computer spellcheckers. That being said, oftentimes auto correct is NOT your friend and throws the whole context of a statement into the twilight zone.
Solution: Proofread, proofread, proofread and spellcheck. A recruiter considers a potential candidate lazy and even unqualified if they aren’t capable of submitting a resume that is free of errors. This is a huge pet peeve!
4. Mistake: Resume omissions. This mistake refers to ignoring timeline gaps in the resume, or omissions of dates or other pertinent information. It raises a red flag with the reader who wonders what else the job seeker is trying to cover up or gloss over.
Solution: Consider addressing any challenges in your resume with a line of explanation as appropriate (Ex. Left position to obtain Masters Degree). Keep up with continuing professional development so you can show current knowledge and education (one way to overcome older education). Don’t omit anything of significance. Work with a professional resume writer who can help you address issues or concerns.