Human resource managers can see hundreds of résumés a day. That means yours likely has 60 seconds or less to catch their eye. And, while you need to take the time to craft a quality, professional résumé that will knock ’em dead, make sure you also take care to avoid these résumé killers that can kill your chances in no time.
1. The Typo Trigger
Nothing will ruin your chance to make a good first impression faster than typos on your résumé. Spell check is great, but it often misses synonyms (there and their), poor grammar, and punctuation errors. And it certainly doesn’t catch errors that are spelled correctly, i.e. manager and manger. Proofread your résumé several times by reading it aloud one word at a time and then read it aloud backwards. After that, have a friend read it over.
2. The Random Shooter
Since no two jobs are the same, don’t send out the same, generic cover letter and résumé every time. Instead, tailor each cover letter and résumé to each position and employer so that it will reflect how you are the ideal candidate for their job.
3. The Style Strangler
There are plenty of places in this world to show your flair, but your résumé isn’t one of them! Keep your résumé paper white or off-white and limit your font selection to clean and simple, sans serif selections, such as Arial, Helvetica, or Futura.
4. The Oversharing Overkiller
Human resource managers are looking at how you might fit into their company. However, sharing excess personal information and hobbies that don’t apply to your skills for the job will just distract from the more important parts of your résumé. Your résumé is supposed to help you get a job, not tell the world what you do in your free time.
5. The Background Stabber
A résumé isn’t the place for negativity. Mention why you left or are leaving your previous position only if you’re asked. And even then, frame it so it reflects positively on you and your skills.
Don’t Overlook the Accessories to the Crime!
Remember the little things too. Always send a cover letter (or email) and apply the same rules above. Limit your résumé to two pages, though one is better. Be truthful about your previous work and periods of employment, since it’s now easier than ever to uncover inaccuracies. And finally, make sure at every turn that your cover letter and résumé effectively reflect what you can bring to a company. Anything else can kill your résumé in the eyes of a human resources manager and poison your chances of landing that new job!