Most professionals nowadays know that a clear (and proofread) resume can help them move along during the job application process. But what if you think you submitted the most perfectly edited resume with loads of experience and you still don’t make the cut?
It turns out that there are plenty of smaller mistakes that make recruiters reconsider adding you to the “yes” pile. Six of them weighed in on the problems they see with resumes all the time that keep applicants from getting ahead.
1. It’s way too long
Lyssa Barber, the former head of recruitment at UBS Asset & Wealth Management, says that one of the largest issues she sees with job applicants is that they’ll submit a resume that “indulges the candidate, but [doesn’t] entice the hiring manager.”
“Even if you’re the CEO, you don’t need a five-page CV,” she notes. “I’ve received eight to 10-page efforts, and they just go straight into the reject pile. [Doing so] suggests an inability to condense information for a time-poor audience.”
Barber also says to steer clear of half-page personal statements; go for a clear, three-line objective instead.
2. It’s over-styled
Trevor Collins, a recruiter at KVH Industries, says that while he focuses on skills and experience, style issues can make it more challenging to read a resume quickly.
He says some of the biggest mistakes he sees are people who:
Just because your resume doesn’t have any typos doesn’t mean that other style problems aren’t turning off a hiring manager. Skip the out-there fonts, double-check your hyperlinks and keep the language simple.
3. It doesn’t include keywords
Candidates need to make it easy for recruiters to find what they’re looking for, especially since they’re scanning hundreds of resumes every day.
“When I look at a CV I immediately look for words that relate to the role I am working on,” says Sarah Rawcliffe, a talent manager at Get My First Job. “For example, for a childcare role I would want to see a placement [at a] nursery, work experience in primary school or even babysitting for a family friend, anything that shows some kind of interest in the industry they have applied for.”
Don’t make it hard for recruiters to connect the dots as to why you’re a good fit for the role. They may give up and look elsewhere.