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5 Ways to Have Your Resume Overlooked

September 17th, 2018

Your resume is your calling card.  It is the first impression a potential employer may have of you, and it should look good.   Putting your best foot forward is not a function of luck, but rather of preparation and planning.  Read the job description and prepare your resume accordingly.

As a recruiting and staffing company, we see hundreds of resumes in a week.  When we review resumes, we find that many tend to share common mistakes.  The 5 mistakes most likely to get your resume put at the back of the pile are:

  1. Not Visually Appealing – Your resume should look good. This is a function of spacing, font, bolding, underlining, and basic artistry.  A resume that uses different fonts, or crowds things together does not show that you have a lot to say; rather, it shows a lack of attention to detail.  If your headings are bold, they should all be bold.  This does not mean that you should bold and underline some, underline others, and bold the important ones. Consistency is key here.
  1. Grammar and Typos – This is the most basic of mistakes, and the most common. There, their and they’re far too many resumes where grammar is overlooked, or the spelling is wrong.  Use a word processor, and actually look at the results.  Then, read your resume s..l..o..w..l..y  and out loud. Have a friend proof read for you.  Does each sentence make sense?  Have you been consistent in verb tense? Again, this is a top indicator of lack of attention to detail.  If you can’t pay attention on your resume, how can the manager expect you to pay attention on the job? Never assume that just because the job does not entail writing that the recruiter or manager thinks that a resume full of typos shows a willingness to work.
  1. Not Truthful – Enough said. There is NEVER a reason to embellish the truth (you will be found out).  As recruiters for a staffing company, there have been a handful of cases where we’ve seen degrees been claimed on paper, but never conferred in reality, where important jobs have been conveniently left off, or added.  The most basic mistakes of the truth variety are not being current, or embellishing a title or responsibility.  If you are no longer at a position, do not state that you are still working there.  You should use action verbs, explain what you did and how it benefitted the organization, but you should never claim a title you didn’t have, or claim you did more than you did.  Oftentimes this is apparent on the face of the resume. But even if it is not and we get you placed at a client, your lack of knowledge becomes apparent, which makes for a very short tenure, and a very irate recruiter.
  1. Generic – Your resume should be tailored to the job for which you are applying. Recruiters are busy and are going through hundreds of resumes.  To do this efficiently, we are looking for key words and skills that match the job.  You may have the skills, but it is crucial to having your resume picked out of the pile that you read the job description and write your resume to highlight your relevant experience FOR THAT JOB.  The biggest mistake most people make is thinking that having one resume is good enough.  Your resume is a reflection of you.  Just as you wouldn’t wear the same outfit to a wedding as you would to a workout, your resume should reflect how you are suited to the particular position for which you are applying. It is changeable. You probably have more than one attribute.  Highlight those attributes that reflect best on the job you want.
  1. Contact Information – Never forget that if you do not include a way for the recruiter to find you, you will never be called. And make sure your information is accurate, up to date, and that you check your messages. Which leads to the corollary of this rule — if you are called (or texted or emailed) RETURN THE CALL!  We try to reach you, we really do.  But if you fail to return our calls, texts and emails, we really can’t find you a job.  If you are working and can only be reached after hours, return the call then and let us know a best time to talk to you.  Recruiters work all hours; their job is dependent upon finding you a job.  The 9 pm call from a good candidate is welcomed.

Since it is our job to help you find a job, we are happy to help with your resume and provide guidance on how to put your best foot forward.

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