If you don't take the time to carefully craft your resume, recruiters will notice. And you won't get contacted or an interview.
A meticulously-crafted resume will open doors to job interviews, while a quickly thrown together document filled with blunders can sink those chances.
"Despite all the warnings from employers, recruiters, and countless career experts, some job seekers still don't think strategically, or type carefully, when writing their resume," says Michelle Reisdorf, regional vice president of the Chicago office of OfficeTeam.
Here are some of the most common resume mistakes made by job seekers who rush to write their resume - and some compelling reasons to avoid them.
New research reveals almost half of workers (46 percent) polled by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they know someone who included false information on a resume, a 25-point jump from a survey completed nearly a decade ago. Job experience (76 percent) and duties (55 percent) were cited as areas that are most frequently embellished.
"It may be tempting to stretch the truth on a resume to stand out, but even small misrepresentations can remove an applicant from consideration for a position," says Reisdorf. "Hiring managers are better than ever at finding out the truth – from background checks to online profiles, there’s little information about candidates they don’t have access to."
Job seekers want their resumes to be attention-catching, but the document means nothing if the content is false. The solution is simple: Don't lie.
"Professionals should avoid lying on any application materials or online profiles because the truth will likely be uncovered during a background or reference check," says Reisdorf.
Avoid gaffes by establishing a step-by-step proofreading system. In addition to running a spell-check, job seekers should take time to read their resume several times out loud.
When people rush to complete their resume, it also often includes this type of info that also makes recruiters cringe:
Extraneous information about hobbies and interests listed on a resume is just that – extraneous. Don’t waste a hiring manager’s time by giving them fluff and filler to read. A hiring manager can identify promising applicants by their laser-like focus on their most pertinent qualifications — not their love of working out, boating, or gardening. Nor do they want to read about that job from 20 years ago in a different industry than you work in today. Stick to professional experience and relevant skills. Also, certain pieces of personal information simply don’t belong on a resume. There’s no reason to include date of birth or marital status, for example. In fact, doing so puts hiring managers in an awkward position because they are not supposed to take information like this into account when making hiring decisions.
Lack of customization
It sounds basic, but many job seekers fail to thoroughly research prospective employers. Hiring managers are looking for someone who appears highly interested in the specific job description they’ve created. Resumes should be tailored to the role and organization. A vague, cookie-cutter summary statement at the top of the resume indicates to hiring managers that the candidate hasn’t done their homework.
Job seekers should tailor their resumes by highlighting the skills and qualifications that most closely relate to the job requirements. Carefully review each job description and mirror their language when discussing strengths and work experience. Candidates should make it easy for hiring managers to see how they will play a role in helping the organization be successful.
A demanding attitude
A “what’s-in-it-for-me?” attitude raises eyebrows anywhere, but it’s especially unprofessional on a resume or cover letter. Mentioning the money, benefits or perks a candidate wants on their resume or cover letter can come across as obnoxious and presumptuous. Application materials that include demands about salary expectations, vacation requirements, or specific perks will simply turn employees off. Job seekers who issue ultimatums before they even get an interview are not seen as team players. Before broaching the topic of compensation and benefits, candidates should wait until a job interview has been secured and the employer has expressed interest in hiring them.
While it’s no longer customary for people to work for the same organization their entire career, a history of job hopping remains on the list of resume red flags. To a hiring manager, a candidate with a restless spirit when it comes to staying in full-time roles for longer than a year (or less) probably isn’t going to stick around their office, either. The exceptions, of course, are those candidates who prefer to move from one temporary position to another. Regardless of how difficult a current or previous manager is or was, never bad-mouth him or her in your resume or cover letter. Even if the criticism is justified, negative comments will reflect poorly on only one person: The candidate.
Coming across as a potential problem employee who has a hard time dealing with authority won’t get a job seeker anywhere.
Hire a resume writer
Are you in need of a new resume, fast? Check out the Resumes By Matt Emergency Resume Service, which provides a 24-48 hour turnaround and can help you when you need a new resume, fast. If you have more time (4-7 business days, or want to work at your own pace), hiring a resume writer can be the best way to create a resume that focuses on results and accomplishments that highlight how you are the right fit for the next job, versus something that is rushed to simply put something together to apply for a job.
Recruiters see through that and when they do, they see themselves contacting another candidate who took the time to properly update their resume.
Perfect your resume. Get noticed. Get interviews. Get that new job.