There are many rules when it comes to resume writing, and many job seekers aren't sure which ones to follow and which ones to dismiss. While it's always best to make sure your resume grabs the attention of hiring managers within your specific industry, there are a few universal red flags all job seekers should avoid. Remember the following five red flags when preparing a resume for your next employer.
1. Unrecognizable Resume
When your document comes across the hiring manager's computer screen or desk, he should instantly be able to recognize that it's a resume. If your resume looks like an essay, memo or business letter, the hiring manager might instantly overlook or discard it. Use a traditional resume format to avoid throwing the manager off. Make sure your name and contact information are at the top of the document, and the words "experience," "education," "career summary" and "skills" are in a bold format or stand out in some other way.
2. Too Short or Long
If your resume is too short, the hiring manager might be underwhelmed. If it is too long, he might not want to read it. Try to make your resume at least one page but no longer than two pages. To ensure it's an appropriate length, only include relevant education and experience on your document.
Hiring managers expect resumes to be perfect and will quickly discard a resume with just a few simple typos or grammatical mistakes. These errors communicate a job seeker's lack of attention to detail. Read through your resume multiple times to ensure it's perfect. Then, have a few of your mentors and colleagues look it over to make sure it's error-free and presents you in the best possible light.
4. Third Person
If your resume is in third person, it might seem to employers like you're referring to someone other than yourself. It's always best to use first person on your resume when discussing your qualifications and skills to make more of an impact. Use first person past tense when referring to your completed education or the duties you performed in previous roles.
5. Lacks Visual Appeal
Large chunks of text, unappealing font styles or too much white space can turn employers off, even if your resume's content is great. Make sure your resume's layout is easy on the eyes and the entire document is easy to read. If submitting a hard copy of your resume, use neutral-colored paper that doesn't contain textures or fancy decorations. Simple, clean and professional is best when it comes to the look of your document.
If your resume contains any of these five red flags, you might not make it to the interview phase of the hiring process. To prevent this, review your resume very carefully, and if necessary, get feedback from other professionals before submitting your document to employers.
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