8 Reasons Your Resume Stinks

8 Reasons Your Resume Stinks

To get the most out of your job search you need to have a very well written resume and the smallest mistake can be your downfall. Each job seeker is unique and certain details on your resume will make you stand out professionally!

When writing a good resume, you should focus on making sure that it will not be disregarded or discarded because of one of the following resume red flags:

Job Search RED FLAG #1 – TYPO on your Resume!

The top resume blunder is a typographical error – most companies and recruiters will not excuse more than two typos and there is a 95% chance that your resume will be tossed to the B or C candidates pile. You want to be on the A list. Most hiring professionals will take your typo as an indication of your skill-set, and as a measure of your office software experience- everyone has spell-check or even perhaps that you are not that interested in the position because you couldn’t be bothered to edit your resume.

You need to proofread 3 or 4 times before you distribute your resume. Even ask a friend to check it too; a fresh set of eyes always catches something you might have missed. Remember your resume is your first impression to HR and your future boss.

Job Search RED FLAG #2 – Irrelevant Information

Job seekers sometimes try to show their softer side and relate information that is not specific to their careers. Remember to outline all your key attributes to your future career and how you want to get there, leverage your experience. Putting your golf handicap or where you went on your second honeymoon is not relevant. We can guarantee HR will cast your resume into the trash without even putting you on a list!

Job Search RED FLAG #3 – Fancy Format Mistakes

Your resume is looked over by an HR professional, they will scan your resume within 15 seconds. If the top of the resume is not formatted or seems unprofessional and messy, it will work against you. Use Word or PDF and don’t overdo the format with too many lines and fancy boxes etc. – the simpler, the better. You don’t want to seem like you are overcompensating because of lack of expertise. Make it easy for HR to view it, comprehend it, qualify your key skills and file it for immediate follow up.

Job Search RED FLAG #4 – There is no “I” in Job

Don’t ever say: “I was responsible for day-to-day operations”

Say: “Accountable for day to day operations”

Relate to your self as a third party and you will stand out and sound more professional.

Job Search RED FLAG #5 – Jack of all trades, master of none

24% of job seekers believe they will look better to employers if they appear “well-traveled” and overload their resume with tedious descriptions of multiple committees they are on, how many different and varying job titles they have had, different industries and cities they’ve worked in etc. Regrettably, this has the opposite effect because it will make you appear as desperate and without talent.

Job Search RED FLAG #6 – Blow your own horn…a little too loud

Be modest. Don’t brag about your achievements, this will look aloof and obnoxious. Do NOT write the following type of statements: “ I am the best in my field”, “My achievements are unsurpassed”, “You need to hire someone like me or else your competition will! ”

Job Search RED FLAG #7 – Education…it’s on here somewhere

Don’t save the best for last. Most HR professionals want to see your education clearly if at the top or bottom of your resume. The other 2 important points are: functional and technical know-how and your professional experience.

Job Search RED FLAG #8 – Attached file all jumbled

Imagine you e-mail your resume as an attachment, only when it gets to your intended recipient’s email it looks nothing like it did on your computer. This is a calamity of the Internet, and formatting gets messed up more than job seekers realize. Next time you’ve revised, proofread and are ready to send out your resume, test email it out to a few of your close associates. Then you can verify how it looks on their computers – if it looks the same – send away – if not, fix it! The safest format to save your resume is in Adobe PDF; most computers are able to read this file and when the file is opened it will appear just as it was sent.


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Comments (3)

  • Bert Reply

    Editing is more then spell checking. If you don’t know the difference between "it’s" and "its" or when to use perspective rather than prospective, then find someone who does to read your resume before you send it into the world to represent your best efforts to communicate.

    This will pass most spell checkers: Ewe cant awl weighs bee write, sew dew sikh sum won too czech yore grandma. Fore shirr!

    October 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm
  • Shannon Reply

    Last paragraph, second sentence: “This is a calamity of the Internet, and formatting gets messed up more THEN job seekers realize.” “Then” should be “than”!

    And further on in the same paragraph: “… test email it out to a few of your close associates. Then you can verify how it looks on their computer …” Unless your close associates all share one computer, it should read “computers.”

    May 12, 2011 at 12:56 am
  • Barbara Reply

    If you send your resume in Adobe PDF, you can be sure it won’t get entered into a database for future reference/searches. If you want to stay active in a candidate database, the best is to send the file in a word file after you have checked the formatting, as suggested above.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

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