For every position that employers advertise, they receive hundreds and even thousands of resumes. Can you imagine how annoying it must be to see the same errors being made over and over again? You want to get the employer’s attention, but not for the wrong reasons. Here are five pet peeves that you should always avoid:
Resumes that are difficult to read. Employers don’t have the time to try to guess what your resume says. Resumes that have too much text or complicated fonts are often difficult to read. Make sure that you use a 12 point, standard font and that your resume has lots of white space.
Vague statements. Most resumes are full of general statements like “good problem solving skills”, “effective communicator”, or “team player”. These statements are unfounded, overused and basically meaningless. Instead of making these vague statements, provide the employer with specific details and examples that highlight your skills.
Proofreading errors. When your resume contains spelling and grammatical errors, it makes you look sloppy. The employer will wonder, if you don’t even take the time to proofread your resume, what kind of employee will you be?
Outdated contact information. When an employer wants to talk to you, they want to talk to you today. Often they will be inviting you in for an interview within the next day or two. If the employer can’t reach you after one or two tries, they will quickly move on.
Photos. Despite the fact that it makes most employers uncomfortable, some job seekers still include photos with their resume. Submitting a photo makes you look unprofessional and it puts the employer in an awkward position. It is better to keep the focus on your skills and experience instead of on the highlights in your hair.
When you consider that most resumes get 30 seconds or less in the screening stage, you see how important it is to make a good first impression. The last thing that you want to do is annoy the employer. If you do whatever you can to make the recruiter’s job easy, they will be more likely to give your resume a second look.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)