It's a competitive job market out there, which is why you must always check your resume multiple times before hitting that submit button.
From verb tense to resume length, hiring managers notice even the tiniest details. Here are six common resume mistakes they spot almost immediately:
Still using Hotmail, AOL or some other incredibly outdated email service? Or worse yet, using your gamer tag (i.e., "RingMaster2000") as your email address? This is a big red flag to hiring manages because it makes you look incredibly unprofessional. In today's world, employers want tech-savvy individuals — even if the job they applied for has nothing to do with tech.
A common myth is that hiring managers always favor one-page resumes. This isn't always the case, especially if you're applying to a more senior role and have years and years of related experience. In fact, a 2018 study of 20,000 resumes found that hiring managers were more than twice as likely to prefer two-page resumes. So don't feel the need to delete important details if your resume comes out to more than one page.
Another common myth: Plain templates get tossed, but bright and "unique" ones get you noticed. Hiring managers actually prefer the boring, old-fashioned templates because it's much easier for them to quickly skim and digest. Submitting a crazy, over-the-top design will not only frustrate them, but can lead to wonky formatting issues. Also, applicant tracking systems are very common these days, and if your fancy template isn't compatible, it won't be parsed properly. If you're a strong candidate, the content — and not the colors — on your resume will speak for itself.
When describing your previous job history, all bullet points should start with an action verb. And if you choose to write in complete sentences, be consistent and stick to it. Otherwise, you'll have a sloppy resume that doesn't flow well. While this may sound like pretty basic stuff, you wouldn't believe how often applicants make this careless mistake.
It's never been more important to include your LinkedIn profile. If you have one, make sure it's updated and include it at the very top of your resume. If you don't have one, create an account immediately and start adding people in your network. A study from earlier this year found that applications who submitted a link to a "comprehensive" LinkedIn profile on their resumes were 71% more likely to get an interview.
Never underestimate the power of basic skills such as MS Office, Excel and communication skills. (Things to leave out: Leadership, time-management, project scheduling, etc.) Hiring managers receive piles and piles of jargon-filled resumes that it's difficult for them to assume what skills you do or don't have. Play it safe and include even the most basic soft skills, especially the ones that are listed under the "minimum requirements" section of the job listing.
Peter Yang is a career expert and the CEO of Resume Writing Services, the parent company of ResumeGo. Before that, he worked as a manager and recruiter for more than 20 years. His work has also appeared in Inc. and Glassdoor.
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