Day after day, I encounter resumes from all sorts of individuals from all walks of life. Some “get it” right away and other need a little nudge in creating a perfect resume. One of the logic that is easily read, understood by hiring managers who also read countless Word and PDF documents, and will not make them crinkle their forehead when reviewing. Below are the top 20 resume reader pet peeves to date.
1. Capitalizing anything and everything. Make sure it’s accurate and adheres to the English grammar rules!
2. Not putting dashes between numbers in your phone number. I hate to decipher numbers when I’m on the fly.
3. Misspelling words. C’mon people, there’s spell check and Grammarly!
4. Using ambiguous or unclear verbiage. Quite frankly, if I have to look up the word, you failed. Never outsmart the reader.
5. Having your creepy picture on the resume. Don’t scare anyone off with any sort of picture. Keep those for your LinkedIn profile.
6. Too long. Let’s put your whole life story on there why don’t you? No! No one cares about your awesome time at Dell in the early ‘90s.
7. Too much information. Although I’m sure all 7 of your children are lovely, let’s refrain from listing their names, ages, and hobbies under your Interests section.
8. Not listing relevant details like your titles, dates, employer location, the degree you earned in school, etc. If I have to guess, I’m moving on.
9. Poor formatting. Different typefaces and boxes cause confusion for applicant tracking systems. Those things recruiters use to identify you using “buzzwords” or keywords on your resume.
10. Paragraphs only? The only spot for a paragraph on your resume is the summary, and even that should only be 3 sentences maximum.
11. Too messy. If your resume looks and feels like a document that was written and sent within 20 minutes, it won’t make a very strong impression.
12. A sense of entitlement. A delivery that sounds preemptive or entitled shuts the reader down. Once again, don’t outsmart the reader with sentences that cause eyes to roll, like “I am far by the most superior worker in our office.”
13. Acronyms and shortening words. Do not add too much jargon or use heavy words. If the recruiter does not understand what you have written, how will he/she pass it on to the hiring manager?
14. Too edgy. Any hint of bitterness, anger, or hostility will severely undermine the credibility of your resume. Keep your tone warm, relaxed, and friendly.
15. Too many redundancies or wasted word usage. Too many “as well as” or “in order to.” Cut out words! Less is more in this Twitter-paced age.
16. Not using action verbs! Always start off with a bang!
17. Using the word “responsible.“ Just stop it. Please.
18. Too much white space! You don’t need 1.5 pages. Either it’s 1 page or 2 pages.
19. Lack of understanding in employment history, such as missing dates, accomplishments, company location, etc. If I am having a hard time trying to understand what the heck you’re conveying in the first 8 seconds, I’m moving on.
20. Too much info for the great beyond. The further into your past, the less detail you should have. And too many lines of content for irrelevant information. You don’t need to have your contact information take up any more than 2 lines.
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