Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top 3 Resume Mistakes To Avoid

Have you ever wondered how long a recruiter or HR person spends reviewing your resume?  According to ERE Media, only about 6 seconds!  What could a recruiter possibly determine about you in 6 seconds?  As someone who has been on the receiving end of literally thousands of resumes, I'm here to shed some light!

Here are a few mistakes to avoid that will help you get past that initial review and hopefully on to the interview stage of the hiring process.

1. Typos and grammatical errors

This one should go without saying, but why is it that so many people still fail to avoid this pitfall?  Because everyone wants to get done with their resume as quickly as possible so they overlook this oh-so-important detail thinking that the person reviewing your resume won't notice or won't care.  Well take it from me, they DO notice and they DO care!  Why?  Because it shows a lack of attention to detail which is something most, if not all employers are looking for in an employee regardless of whether they specify it in the job posting or not.  Also, recruiters/hiring managers are always looking for ways to whittle down a stack of resumes.  Eliminating resumes with typos is one of the easiest no-brainer ways of doing this.

So how do you avoid making this mistake?  My best advice is, once you've completed your resume, save it and read it over again 24 hours later.  This will allow you to look at your resume with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.  To take it a step further, let someone you trust take a look at it as well.  Either way, do NOT leave it to spellcheck.  I guarantee it won't catch every mistake (i.e. their vs there).

2. Mixing fonts

Okay this one may not seem so obvious, but it can be a real killer if you aren't on the look out.  This error occurs most often when you're taking two different versions of your resume (i.e. one in Times New Roman and one in Arial) and cramming them into one.  Why is this a potential deal breaker?  You guessed it, ATTENTION TO DETAIL!

The easiest way to avoid this mistake is to select the entire doc and then select your preferred font.  This way you'll guarantee your resume is one font only.  Pro Tip: Also be careful with your font selection (nothing too off the wall), sizes and spacing to be sure they are consistent throughout your resume.  How your resume "looks" can be just as important, if not more important than its content so be mindful!

3.  Multi-page resumes

There is quite a bit of conventional wisdom out there on both sides of this issue.  I get it.  You're thinking, "Gosh, I have all of this experience that surely a potential employer will want to know and will help me land that interview."  News flash: recruiters are reviewing dozens of resumes a day and don't have time to read your entire autobiography.  All they want is to read the summary on the back flap of your autobiography and decide whether they're interested in reading the whole book. (Was that metaphor overkill?)

Yeah, yeah, I know, you're cousin's boyfriend's sister told you that she doesn't mind reading a two or three (or ten!) page resume, but my recommendation is to err on the side of brevity.  When's the last time you ever heard anyone say they PREFER reading a long resume?  My guess is never.   Remember, most recruiters are only taking 6 seconds for their initial review!

The best advice for addressing this issue is to start with the job you're applying for and then cut the things on your resume that don't apply to that specific job.  If you've already done that, then hone in on the "best of the best" you have to offer based on the position.  If that still doesn't get you there, try resizing your fonts (no smaller than 10 point) and spacings.  Getting to one page can be done.  You just have to have the will to do it!

So there you have it, my top 3 mistakes to avoid on your resume.  Although this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential resume errors, addressing these three should hopefully get you past the initial 6-second screen.  Once you've gotten past that, the real heavy lifting will begin!

Need more help with your resume or would like a free resume assessment?  Contact me at!

Good luck out there!

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