/* Resume Blunders : */

Resume Blunders

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I have been writing about how a recruiter finds your online resume and tips you can do to get your resume found and read.  Now, let’s look at the content of your resume.  I look at resumes almost every day for several hours a day and I see the same mistakes made over and over.  It you have managed to get your resume in the search results and have a captivating headline that persuades the recruiter to click through and open your resume, you don’t want to blow it by having a resume that immediately makes them close it and go back to the search results.  Below are some of the things that will make me close your resume and go back to the other resumes in the search results.

1. Make your resume easy to read.  This means large enough fonts and lots of white space.  I cannot tell you how many resumes I open up and apparently the formatting has been lost and/or the font is tiny enough that  I would need a magnifying glass.  Your great skills and experience will go to waste because I immediately close these resumes and move on to one that is easier to read.  PREVIEW YOUR RESUME AFTER UPLOADING IT!  View your resume as it will look to the recruiter to ensure your resume is readable.


2. Use bullets.  Bullets are so much easier to read than paragraphs.  Use a brief summary or description for each job, then use bullets for your detail information.


 3.  Use accurate contact information. Some people try to hide where they live.  Or, maybe, they haven’t bothered to update their headline information with what is on their resume.  If I am recruiting for an Austin job and all I see are non Austin area codes for phones, and no recent history of employment in Austin, I am going to assume you don’t live in Austin.  If you really do live in Austin, make it apparent, or put something in your resume that you live in Austin and telecommute to your job in Detroit.


 4.  Explain any employment history gaps. I understand there may be recent gaps in your employment history.  If they are long (at least a year), put some brief explanation.  Some resumes I look at don’t have any employment history for several years.  I am not going to take the time to contact them to ask them what they have been doing.  I simply close their resume and move on to the next one.


 5.  Don’t list every job you have had in your life.  Length is not important in an online resume, but I stop reading after the most recent jobs.  I usually read the recent few and then scroll down to look at education and job preferences at the bottom. If you do contract work, don’t list every contract that you had if they are short term unless there are some skills that you used that will help make you more marketable.


 6.  Spell check and grammar check.  This is the beauty of using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word.  They have spell checkers!  I know you have heard this advice before, but I cannot tell you how many resumes have spelling errors and glaring grammar errors.   When the company I am recruiting for emphasizes communications skills, I will not forward your resume to them if it has spelling or grammar errors.


7.  Use correct tense.  Many people refer to their job detail in the past tense when they state they are currently employed there.  You should only use the past tense after you no longer work for that company.  Decisions are sometimes made to consider your resume based on whether or not you are currently working.  This goes along with my message to keep your resume updated!


 A resume is one of the most important documents of your professional career, so take the time to make sure it looks good and reflects you accurately.  Have someone else read it to look for errors. Please don’t make me look at any more resumes like this below:


Bad Resume

Bad Resume

 This article has been mainly about how your resume looks.  In the next article,  I will discuss some of the content and the tone your resume projects.



There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. [...] resumes • resume mistakes • resume tips • Resume writing In the last article (http://www.hireaustin.org/2009/06/resume-blunders/), I discussed formatting errors and basic mistakes that people make on their resumes like spelling [...]

  2. [...] 9. Have someone look at your resume – they might see some items that could be reworded that you might not notice. (http://www.hireaustin.org/2009/06/resume-blunders/) [...]

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