Considering the average recruiter spends 5 to 7 seconds to read a resume, as a job seeker you’re privileged with a time-frame not much longer than the blink of an eye in which to convince the reader your document doesn’t deserve to be binned. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!
It’s sloppy presentation and an overly relaxed approach that will kill your chances of achieving a job interview before you’ve even had a chance to say hello. Overly complicated formatting and a lackadaisical approach to spelling and grammar will end your prospective chances of success rather rudely, because a relaxed resume is nothing short of a recipe for disaster.
One of the fastest ways to ensure a resume will end up in the recycling bin is when a job seeker ties their knickers in a knot. How so? Did you know that 53% of resumes contain falsifications of one sort or another?. Either candidates must be genuinely confused by their very own career history or there’s some serious fudging of the truth going on here. Many resumes are brimming with white lies, particularly when it comes to stating the duration of jobs and former job titles and sometimes details of verbal referees are even muddled in that unrelated friends get passed off as previous managers. Coincidence much? I think not!
Those who participate in seemingly accidental resume literacy almost always come unraveled in the end. With 76% of employers conducting background reference checks on candidates, there’s a reasonably significant likelihood of falsified information coming to light.
Lack of Consistency
Can you imagine failing to match your resume with your LinkedIn profile or vice-versa? This is definitely cause for the raising of a red flag. Either the candidate has forgotten the real truth when writing his or her resume (cough cough), or they’ve forgotten to lie when writing their LinkedIn profile. The key here is to get your facts right in the first instance, or pay particular care to remember the lies you spin along the way!
Having an ambiguous resume is another bug bear of the modern day hiring manager. Providing factually supported statistics about your education, qualifications and career history where relevant, demonstrates your authenticity as well as solidifies your vast achievements. If you’re boasting about selling the greatest number of TV’s sold in your local electronics store then be sure to be specific on the actual number, whether its a percentage of your overall sales or by how much over your sales target, be specific.
Wishy Washy Lingo
Aside from vaguely outlining your experience or achievements in a noncommittal way, another faux pas is to use unnatural words that are so fancy-schmancy they confuse the reader. Even if you’re the worlds most creative whiz when it comes to the English language, save the fancy stuff for impressing your next round of dinner party guests and focus on utilizing succinct, accurate and powerful language that truly sells your story. If you’re not that dapper with written language you could always try using pre-written bullet points, such as a resume builder.
The inclusion of an objective statement is now considered old hat. New hat is the creative construction and inclusion of a professional profile, used to summarize your best assets. Including an exhaustive list of all the duties you’ve ever undertaken is another way to unintentionally kill your readership. Employers are keen to learn ABOUT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, not whether you washed the dishes at your first job, which also happened to be in a fish and chip shop, by the way. Who cares! Save them the boring detail and focus on including statistically supported evidence of your amazingness.