1. 1st or 3rd Person Descriptions
Not only does doing this use up valuable real estate on your resume, but it also makes it sound unprofessional.
Don’t say “I ran a team of thirty salespeople”, or worse, “(Your Name) ran a team of thirty sales people. Cut out the pronoun and instead, say “Ran a team of thirty people”.
Break responsibilities up into bulleted lists using this wording to keep it short and to the point and show recruiters the experience you have.
2. Fuzzy Fonts
Wanting to stand out from the crowd is one thing, but if a recruiter has to work to read your resume, you can guarantee they aren’t reading it.
Make it as easy as possible for your recruiter to decide to interview you. Stick to simple, professional fonts such as Georgia, Arial or Times New Roman.
3. An Unprofessional Email Address
We get it – there was a time when having firstname.lastname@example.org was funny. That time was when you were fifteen and using it to email your friends.
A recruiter won’t find this anything but unprofessional. And with so many options for a free email address provider using a clearly inappropriate email address just looks lazy.
4. Detailed High School Grades
Unless you’ve just left high school and these results are the only qualifications you have, leave them out. If you’ve stated that you have a master’s degree, then the recruiter will know that you graduated high school.
The one exception to this is if the role you’re applying for specifically asks for high school grades to be included.
5. Buzz Words
Many people use words like “go getter” to describe themselves because they think it makes them sound on trend and interesting. They don’t. They look like what they are – vague non-descriptions.
Job applicants with real skills and experience use those to show recruiters that they’re a go getter, results driven or a strategic thinker.
6. Lies or Exaggerations
It’s only natural to want to paint yourself in the best light, but lying on your resume is a big turn off for recruiters and a major red flag in how you conduct yourself professionally.
While saying you speak five languages might be impressive, it’s only really impressive if it’s true. It might land you an interview, but during the interview you will almost certainly be outed on your lie, and that’s any chance you had of getting the job gone.
7. Irrelevant Hobbies
If you’re applying for a job as a web designer, the recruiter really doesn’t care that you enjoy crochet. They might however, care that you run a blog (assuming it’s got a killer design that you crafted yourself).
Before listing any hobbies on your resume, ask yourself if they are relevant to the job at all, and if they’re not, cut them. It’s a resume, not a dating profile.
8. A Headshot
Your resume is your chance to show why you’re the best fit for the job, which means sharing relevant qualifications and experience. It isn’t a chance to share your favourite selfie.
Unless you’re applying for a job as an actor or model, or the job ad specifically requests a photograph of you on your resume, don’t add one. It’s unnecessary and again, it takes up space you could be using to share something relevant to the job you are applying for.
This is the number one pet hate among recruiters, and as the trend grows, not having a photo of yourself on your resume can be the difference between you and another applicant.
9. Personal Information
Never include personal information on your resume such as your home address, your social security number or your driver’s ID number.
The job ad could be a scam to gather people’s personal information and use that for unscrupulous reasons. A genuine potential employer won’t ask for that information at the first stage of the application process.
It’s also wise to avoid over sharing details on your marital status, gender, religion, political views and age. None of those things are relevant to a job application (with a few exceptions such as applying to work for a political campaign etc.).
Sharing details of your referees comes much later in the process. Your referees’ details are confidential information that they likely don’t want storing somewhere with resumes for potential future hires.
If a company want your references, they’ll ask for your referees’ details. A good idea is to have this information typed out on a sheet which you can bring with you to the interview to hand over when and if it’s asked for.
It’s also unnecessary to include the line “references available on request”. Recruiters know this is the case.
How many of these resume crimes have you been committing? If the answer to this is one or more, that could well be the reason why you’re sending your resume out to jobs you know you’re qualified for and not hearing anything back.
Make sure your resume is clean, crisp and professional and doesn’t include any of these ten things, and you might just find that your prospects of employment improve drastically.