Leadership

Top Google recruiter: You have to 'absolutely nail' this if you want to score your dream job

Displaying an error on your resume, no matter how small, can cost you your dream job.

In fact, Google's global staffing lead and senior recruiter Lisa Stern Hayes says that to even be considered for a role at the tech giant, you have to "absolutely nail" your resume.

"[The resume] is something that the candidate is using to represent themselves," Haynes says in a Google Partners podcast. "And so if there's going to be mistakes on that and you're noticing sloppiness on there, that really is a great indicator of how they'll perform in a job."

If that doesn't persuade you to take a second or third look before submitting your resume, consider this statistic: 93 percent of HR people say that mistakes on a resume either sometimes or always negatively impact their decision to extend a job interview, according to a survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Hayes says there are certain errors you must always look out for:

  • Spelling your employer's name wrong
  • Referring to the wrong employer
  • Incorrect spelling and grammar of any kind
  • Incorrect formatting
  • Punctuation mistakes

An HR person who sees any of this on a resume will think "that is just a reflection of how they will be as an employee at the company," says Haynes. "The resume is something that you have to absolutely nail if you want an interview."

The senior recruiter admits that you would be surprised at how often she sees mistakes on resumes and just overall poor resume quality.

Google employee at a recreational area
Edgar Su | Reuters
Google employee at a recreational area

"I've seen it all," she says in the podcast. However, the most common resume mistake that she sees is using the wrong past tense of the word "lead."

Instead of spelling the word as L-E-D, she explains, applicants often spell the past-tense version as L-E-A-D and she says, "this one drives me nuts."

Another mistake she often sees is in the objective section at the head of the resume. Because it's so common to simply reuse the same resume format, she receives documents that say "I'd really like to land a job at [enter company name]" and refer to a different place of employment.

"It's great that people are customizing their resumes but you always want to make sure you have proofread it a million times before you are submitting it anywhere," she says, "and get someone else to proofread it to who has never looked at it before."

Beyond that, she says that people often fall into the trap of making their resumes read like job descriptions. Instead, Haynes says that you should be showing a recruiter the quantifiable, measurable impact that you have had in whatever job you're coming from.

"So in other words, is a candidate going to be able to articulate in a resume what they personally accomplished or brought to the table in their role, either relative to the goals that were set for them or relative to their peers," she explains.

Being aware of these common resume errors is crucial, she continues, and it's "really important to make sure that [resumes are] completely buttoned up when you submit them."

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See also:

This study identified the 5 people that make up a 'work family'—which one are you?

Top Google recruiter: The most important skill you should have to score a position at the company

LinkedIn HR exec says this is the No. 1 mistake people make during the hiring process

This is an updated version of a previously published story.