In the 2013 CareerBuilder annual resume survey, employers shared some common resume mistakes that may lead to automatically rejecting a candidate. This information is invaluable.
Let’s look at the top five resume problems listed in the CareerBuilder press release:
- Resumes with typos (58%): Although this seems obvious, I still see resumes with typos. I have worked with any number of hiring managers who will NOT consider any candidates with typos under any circumstances. Don’t even try to bring the perfect resume to one of those hiring managers if it has a typo. This is an easy fix. Pay attention to these details.
- Resumes that are generic, not personalized for the position (36%): In the olden days when resumes were static typed documents, it might have been ok to have a generic resume. Today, there is no excuse. Personalize your resume. Highlight experiences and accomplishments that relate to the position you seek. Customize the header with the specific variation of job title you seek. This simple step can tie your resume directly to the position you want.
- Resumes that don’t include a list of skills (35%): Hiring managers will not spend a lot of time reading your resume. Include a bulleted table or list of skills that apply to the position you seek. This is an easy way to make your skills stand out in the most valuable resume real estate at the top of the first page, right under your header stating the role you seek.
- Resumes that copied a large amount of working from the job posting (32%): This problem does not contradict the advice to personalize the resume for the position. There is a difference between personalizing and copying directly from the job posting. Certainly you want to be sure the resume contains keywords reflecting what the hiring manager is looking for. Your resume must reflect that you understand and can put into your own words why you are a great candidate. Translate your background and experience into words that meet the hiring manager’s expectations without just copying. Put some thought into it.
- Resumes that have an inappropriate email address (31%): Which would you pick? The resume that says, “jane.smith[at]gmail.com” or “bigpartygirl[at]gmail.com”? Don’t be creative. Be simple, business-like and straightforward in selecting an email address. Otherwise you could be excluded from consideration. As a side note, some people think that an “aol” address dates you as older. If you use AOL (like I do), consider adding a Gmail account for your job search. It might make a difference.
Be sure your resume is not inadvertently excluding you from consideration for positions you want. Seek out a professional like The Interview Doctors if you have concerns. We can help.