Throughout this week we have seen a lot of resumes come through that have not been quite what employers or recruiters are looking for. If you continue to read, we will go through some of the common less obvious mistakes we see and some tips to help make your resume stand out.
Giving vague employment dates is one of the most common resume mistakes. When your resume does not include months, employers will assume something is wrong. They may think you are hiding something like a gap in employment. So, when you are filling out your resume try to be specific when it comes to dates, we promise it helps. We also recommend using the chronological format with an emphasis on the last 7 years with your resume.
Another mistake we see people make is having their resume be too cute with the designs. When writing a resume, it needs to be clean, neat, and in an easy-to-read format. Many of the larger companies across the country use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automatically screen resumes. ATS requires text-based resumes so many companies that use ATS will simply toss the nontraditional cute resumes. While other companies and fields just do not like nontraditional resumes. A tip regarding traditional and nontraditional resumes. Nontraditional resumes are beneficial for applicants going into creative industries such as marketing or design. If you are not in the creative industry, we would recommend using a traditional resume.
A common mistake that we sometimes get a laugh at is saving the resume and using a bad file name. We have seen the strangest resume file names but also very generic resume file names. Instead of ‘resume15’ or ‘resumerevised’ I would recommend your first and last name. As a recruiter, we see hundreds of applications every day. when we see a resume file name not being their name it can be hard to go back and locate but also this is an opportunity to keep your name in the forefront of the recruiter or employer’s mind.
- Be consistent in format and content
- Use consistent spacing, underlining, italics, bold, and capitalization for emphasis
- Make it easy to read and follow
- Balance white space
- List headings in order of importance but within the heading, list information in reverse chronological order (most recent first
- Use personal pronouns (such as I)
- Use slang
- Include a picture, age, or gender
- Use a narrative style