You’ve decided what positions you want to highlight in your resume, and you’ve decided how you want to describe each position. You’re ready to get writing. But are you are aware of the resume red flags that mean immediate rejection?
Even if you’re the most qualified person for the job, you might not get the position if you make one of these resume-killing mistakes…
1. Don’t Choose the Wrong Resume Format
There are three major resume formats, one of which can help you sell yourself most effectively. Know which one to choose: chronological for individuals whose skills match the job; functional for individuals wanting to highlight their skills; and a combination of the two for job seekers who have related experience and relevant skills for a position.
2. Don’t Make any Spelling Errors or Grammatical Mistakes
One of the biggest resume red flags is grammar carelessness. Grammar mistakes can demonstrate that you don’t take care in your work – and that you don’t value the opportunity. To improve your grammar, ask a friend to proofread or find a reputable online editing program that can help you work out the kinks.
3. Don’t Overemphasize
Another one of the big resume red flags is overemphasizing too many things. While you want to use bold fonts to draw attention to your name, job title, and section header, for example, too many bold fonts make your resume hard to read, and effectively de-emphasizes everything.
4. Don’t Emphasize Your Employment Gaps
Unemployment periods or short tenures in jobs are not the most appealing to employers. You don’t want to lie, but you certainly don’t want to highlight these in your resume, either. Instead, minimize employment gaps or short-term employment by listing your position work dates in years instead of months. You can also include skills you learned during your unemployment, perhaps acquired through volunteer work. You can also leave off certain jobs if they were very short-term.
5. Don’t List Your Positions’ Daily Duties
Most resumes list duties performed in a particular position. While these can demonstrate in what capacities you can work, duty listing doesn’t say much about how you performed your position better than anyone else. Instead, include accomplishments in your resume, which describe specifically how you improved companies you worked for previously, as well as listing specific technologies and skills required for the job.
6. Don’t Be a Serial Applicant
Recruiters are not going to stay interested in you if you apply to every job open at a particular company. So if you apply to jobs that you’re never going to get, you’re called a “serial applicant” – a term you definitely don’t want applied to you. Instead of applying to every open job, choose jobs you feel that you’d fit well, and reach out to a recruiter or HR department to discuss the positions you’d be well-suited for.
7. Don’t Include an Objective Statement
A sign of a bad resume is the inclusion of an objective statement. Why? Because An objective statement is a dated and unnecessary resume feature. Instead, an executive summary provides the employer a quick glimpse of who you are and what you want to accomplish in your new position. An objective statement, on the other hand, focuses too much on the past.
8. Don’t Forget the Keywords
One of the biggest resume red flags is failing to include keywords tailored to an applicant tracking system (ATS). Most companies use ATS to make sure applicants’ resumes fit the job description before the hiring manager even gets to read the resume. To make sure your resume is getting into the hands of a real person, use Jobscan to make your resume ATS-ready. So Jobscan helps you optimize your resume by scanning the job posting to make sure you’re including all the right keywords.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan.
About the Author: James Hu earned his bachelor’s of Information Systems and Finance from University of Washington. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Jobscan. James has also enjoyed work experiences at Boeing, Microsoft, Groupon, Kabam Games, and a start-up of his own. Through his work in the United States, China, and Spain/Gibraltar, James truly integrates a global mindset into his career. In his free time, he enjoys water sports and backpacking. Follow James on Twitter.