As a hiring manager, I have reviewed hundreds of resumes. It only takes me a few seconds to decide if a resume should be toss in the trash or if I should continue reading it. If you want your resume to not end up in the trash, here are 5 things you need to watch out when writing your resume.
1. Typos and grammatical errors
If there are any big typos and grammatical errors, I will deduce that you are sloppy and probably don’t care about your work or profession. This is my biggest pet peeve when reading resumes. It is amazing to me how many mistakes I see on resumes. My advise would be to carefully review your resume multiple times and let someone else proofread it too.
2. Not tailoring your resume to the job
Another common mistake that I see is the job seeker not taking the time to tailor the resume to the job. As a hiring manager, I am very busy and can only spend a few seconds reading each resume. What I am trying to determine is if this candidate is worth bringing in for an interview. If the resume does not spell out the specific skills/experiences/abilities that I am looking for, I will move on to someone else. So it is very important to modify each resume to the job. This should be done if you have a job description.
3. Not including a summary section
A summary section at the top of your resume quickly tells the employer why they should continue to read your resume. It should list your experiences, skills and qualifications. Every statement made in your summary section should be backed up with proof somewhere in your resume. If you don’t include a summary section, then it will be harder for me to determine if you are qualify for the job. This is your elevator pitch to me so it needs to be compelling and concise.
4. Visually unappealing
If the resume is not visually appealing, this makes me think the candidate will not be good with creating spreadsheets and other documents. The resume should be easy on the eyes and have professional formatting. I have seen resumes that are badly laid out, disorganized or full of formatting mistakes. What this does is makes the resume less appealing and harder for me to read. It also sends a bad vibe that this candidate is less than stellar in his/her writing skills. I am looking for a resume that is attractive and easy to read.
5. Too much information
Your resume should quickly tell me why I should consider you for an interview. Your resume should not describe your entire career from when you were flipping burgers at McDonald’s. I want to know whether you can do the job that you are applying for. You should only mention experiences, skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the job. Be very selective in what you put in your resume. You need to get into the mind of the hiring manager. He/she is trying to find resumes that scream hire me.
Think of your resume as a 30-second commercial. In 30 seconds or less it should describe why you are the perfect candidate for the job.