As recent graduates and job seekers know all to well, the competitive world of job applications is no longer a simple or standard process. Instead, paper applications have been combined with virtual submissions that more often than not, are sent out into cyberspace without a word in return. In a time where employers are hard-pressed to hire, and applications are sent out in record numbers, how do you make sure your resume catches someone’s eye? Here are 10 reasons your resume may not be getting you the interviews you’re destined for.
1.) Long and Lingering
If your resume is more than a page in length, it just won’t last with employers. There is no need to recount every minute detail of your academic and professional life. Employers just don’t have the time to review the life history of each candidate. Making sure your resume is condensed and easy-to-read will ensure sure it makes the final cut.
2.) Secret Strengths
It’s possible that employers are missing the professional strengths you can provide their company simple because they’re listed last on the page. Bring your personal, academic and professional strengths to the top of your resume to make your application both eye-catching and purposeful.
3.) Irrelevant Information
Be sure to remove unnecessary jobs, academic achievements or hobbies from your resume altogether. It’s imperative that your resume be tailored to the position you are applying for, and that each and every listed item relates to your prospective employer in one way or another.
4.) Structural Significance
If your resume begins with your hobbies and ends with your professional posts, employers are going to be confused as to what you’re trying to convey. You’re applying for a job, so make sure your academic and professional achievements come first. Hobbies, interests, publications and technical skills can be used towards the end to support your professional experience.
5.) Spelling Slip-ups
Your resume may be a solid testament to your professional achievements, but an employer will easily dismiss your resume if it’s host to spelling or grammar errors. These small slip-ups can give the impression that you aren’t a detail-oriented candidate. Always take time to double check your resume before you mail it out, or click ‘send.’
6.) Unreadable Font
Just because it looks sophisticated, doesn’t mean it’s readable. Many people make the mistake of choosing a font or type-size for their resume that just isn’t practical when it comes to quick employer review. Make sure to keep fonts simple and large enough that your important information is easy to read, even at a glance.
7.) Past Emphasis
While making the Honor Roll in high school was definitely a significant moment in your life, it may not be something that employers take into account today. Make room for more up-to-date achievements by removing awards, certificates and other events that took place more than 10-years-ago. It’s important to keep your resume modern and recent.
8.) Little Lies
Taking a semester of French in college doesn’t make you bilingual, and listing yourself as such on a resume could get you into big trouble with employers. Keep your resume honest to avoid embarrassing situations later on. Keep in mind that employers see a variety of resumes on a regular basis, and even small lies can stand out as glaring red flags to the trained eye.
9.) Keeping It Too Simple
Understanding the company you are applying to will help you tweak your resume to fit their design. If you’re applying for a creative job, a standard resume may need a little structural flare to catch their eye. On the other hand, an accounting recruiter may not appreciate a resume that shows up on pink paper. Take the company into account when designing your resume.
10.) Virtual vs. Paper
While you can review a paper resume before you send it out, pay careful attention to virtual resume formatting before you press ‘send.’ Too often, employers receive resumes that are improperly formatted by candidates who simply cut and paste from a word document. Take time to check formatting to ensure employers are receiving a clean, clear and well-outlined resume that highlights your accomplishments.