Most recruiters meet your resume before they have a chance to formally meet you. It is your representative, and what you absolutely do not want is your representation to be misleading or sub par. Your resume must be your best foot forward, in order for it to stand a chance and rise to the top of the growing pile of resumes that are accumulating in the recruiter’s inbox.
So, how do you rise? The first step is not being the first to be eliminated. And how do you avoid elimination? By steering clear of the top resume killers below.
Check them out:
This is even more unsightly, because spell check exists. Neglecting to double check your resume shows lack of care. It’s hard to call yourself “detail oriented,” while missing glaring details. Tighten up.
2. Misuse of Words
If you don’t exactly know what a word means, you either look it up or don’t use it. The misuse of words will have the exact opposite effect of what you intended. You set out to seem intelligent at first, but then…
3. Lapse in Time Between Jobs
Employers often wonder what you were doing during those huge gaps on your resume. If you happen to be out of work for long stints of time, use that time to acquire certifications and/or training. Then, add that to your resume. This shows a potential employer that your time out of work was used wisely.
Avoid going far left with your job titles or job descriptions. Employers aren’t as gullible as you think. There is a fine line between playing up your responsibilities and flat out fabrications.
5. Inconsistent Style and Over Formatting
Eye sores are quickly tossed. No one wants to sift through multiple text styles, misalignments, and varying formats to get to the meat. You want your resume to be sleek, quick, and easy to read.
6. Your Resume Is Way Too Long
It doesn’t take two and half pages to prove that you’re the person for the job. Employers want to know that you’re qualified, succinct, and focused. Eliminate all irrelevant work experience that doesn’t pertain to the job you’re going after. Try sticking to a one-page resume if you can—two max, if you can’t help yourself.
7. Being Generic or Vague
Stating basic tasks in a generic fashion is one of the quickest ways to get your resume tossed. Be sure to personalize your responsibilities and highlight your accomplishments, so that your unique abilities shine through.
If your email address can even remotely be seen as unprofessional, it would behoove you to use another address while on your job search. Try using your first and last name in your email address, if it’s available. Also, all use to slang or informal speech should be avoided. This is neither the time nor place. Keep it classy.
Avoid these top resume killers, and you may have a shot at landing the job you want. If there are more killers that aren’t currently on this list please don’t hesitate to share in the comments! We’re all here to help.