Five Common Reasons Resumes Get Discarded

Spelling, grammar, punctuation :

Tales of resumes with spelling errors are legion among hiring managers – from the pathetically funny ‘Pubic Relations Expert’ to the sadly amusing ‘Manger’ where Manager was intended. Spell check is adequate but not sufficient – use a real dictionary if you’re unsure how something is spelled, have a friend read the resume  to you back to front to proofread for errors, have a parent read it, or, best option, retain a professional resume writer or coach for final review, edit and proof. Your resume is your proxy with prospective employers. Make sure to present your best face.

Objective statements :

Once a resume standby, have fallen out of use. Stating your objectives on a resume is a triple-fail – it focuses the resume on what you want, rather than how your skills match the job description; it steals precious space for information that should be in the cover letter; and, except in cases where your job record may not match the requirements of the post you’re applying for, it doesn’t tell the recruiter anything they don’t already know. It may be ok to use an objective statement when you’re trying to position your experience in one field as applicable to a new opportunity in a different field, but even that’s a stretch.  Avoid the objective statement to avoid the wastebasket.

Overly formatted :

Cursive fonts, multiple fonts, elaborate paragraphing, excessive use of bullets, gratuitous boxes and margin rules, graphics and images – especially photographs – stop many recruiters before they have read word one. Communicate clearly why you’re the right candidate by including useful information about your skills and experience, and using formatting sparingly. Formatting your resume in such a way that it’s hard to read – or cute – is a mistake.

Too much information :

Too much personal information is cringe-worthy on a resume. Recruiters don’t care if you have a cat, are a tri-athlete, love to read or knit, sail or race motorcycles. They are not looking for a well-rounded, healthy individual; they’re looking for the best fit for the job’s requirements.  A resume has one function: to present your credentials for a specific job. Be complete with relevant information – list all jobs, provide a short description of your former employers’ businesses, cite dates and titles, list skills, describe what you did to make the company successful. Leave no holes in the timeline. Save discussion of your pet’s many virtues for some time after you’ve landed the job – hopefully after you’ve learned your manager’s position on cats. (Note-I do think personality, culture fit is very important and you should showcase – this is for a later blog post)

No cover letter :

Cover letters are the bonus round. It’s where you get to add context to your resume. Simply posting a resume looks suspect – recruiters immediately assume you’ve been posting to every job board or company you come across. A cover letter adds a personal touch and gives you a forum to set forth exactly why your skills and experience qualify you for consideration. Note to self: no pink scented paper and no cursive font. Skip a thoughtful cover letter and your resume may wind up in the round file.

This story was originally published by glassdoor

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