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Five Resume Blunders That Will Ensure Yours is Deleted

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently told TechCrunch’s Disrupt Conference that Yahoo gets sent 12,000 resumes a week. With so many resumes to wade through, HR departments are unforgiving when it comes to …

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently told TechCrunch’s Disrupt Conference that Yahoo gets sent 12,000 resumes a week. With so many resumes to wade through, HR departments are unforgiving when it comes to weeding out candidates who have made common resume mistakes.
In my many years as a recruiter and now placing HR executives, I’ve seen the same top resume mistakes over and over. Recruiters are so tired of these blunders that flawed resumes often end up in the trash without ever being considered. The thought is that if you can’t get your resume right, you probably won’t get the job right either.
Don’t let avoidable mistakes keep you from the job of your dreams. Look out for these common errors and catch them before someone else does.

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  • 1. www.lucasgroup.com EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS - BLOG www.careeradvice.lucasgroup.com Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently told TechCrunch’s Disrupt Conference that Yahoo gets sent 12,000 resumes a week. With so many resumes to wade through, HR departments are unforgiving when it comes to weeding out candidates who have made common resume mistakes. In my many years as a recruiter and now placing HR executives, I’ve seen the same top resume mistakes over and over. Recruiters are so tired of these blunders that flawed resumes often end up in the trash without ever being considered. The thought is that if you can’t get your resume right, you probably won’t get the job right either. Don’t let avoidable mistakes keep you from the job of your dreams. Look out for these common errors and catch them before someone else does. Blunder #1: Typos. The most obvious of all resume mistakes to avoid is also the most common: typos. Find a friend, or ideally multiple friends, with excellent spelling and grammar to go over your resume with a fine-toothed comb. Remember to not only check for mistakes but also consistency. If you have a period at the end of one bullet, make sure it’s at the end of every bullet. Also check for tense. Talk about current jobs in the present tense and previous positions in the past tense. Blunder #2: Multi-Page Resumes. Many recruiters refuse to read resumes longer than a single page as an absolute rule. If your resume is longer, give some serious thought to which information is truly essential to conveying how qualified you are for the job. For example, mid-career applicants are better served by highlighting important achievements than by reserving space for his or her college GPA. Unless specifically requested, do not include a page of references either. A line at the bottom of the resume or in your cover letter stating that references are available upon request is always the way to go. Blunder #3: Poor Readability. A resume should never read like an essay because long paragraphs of prose put you at high risk of being ignored. Resumes are designed to communicate important information quickly and efficiently. The companies you’ve worked for and your positions should jump out at the reader immediately with key information about each role laid out in unambiguous, concise bullets. Blunder #4: Unclear Qualifications. When you apply for a particular position, it must be readily apparent why you are qualified. If you’re applying for a marketing role but it’s not crystal clear that you have previous marketing experience, then your resume will get tossed. Tailor your resume to the job, adjusting the way you describe your experience to highlight the most relevant experience. Blunder #5: The Absence of Keywords. Large companies don’t have the manpower to examine every resume so they use Applicant Tracking Systems. Once your resume is in the system, it only pops up in response to searches, which HR runs when deciding whom to call in for interviews. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter. What keywords would you use to locate qualified applicants? Is it a title? A particular technical skill? What terms are emphasized in the job description? Create a succinct list of likely prospects and sprinkle them throughout your resume. A strong resume, free of these common missteps is absolutely essential to being considered for any job. Have you ever made one of these blunders? Share your experiences with us. Five Resume Blunders That Will Ensure Yours is Deleted by Don Stansbury Senior Executive Search Consultant – Human Resources