A recruiter usually only has that much time to review a resume from an applicant on average. That is barely enough time to make a good impression in person, let alone on your resume, so how do you make those seven seconds count?
Jack Litchfield and Sarah Gray of JobJunxion, a top recruiting firm out of Kitchener, Ontario know exactly what mistakes to look out for when putting together your resume so that you do not miss out on the next big job opportunity. In there recent DotsLvie stream, they not only list 5 common mistakes but also pick apart a few resumes to let our viewers know exactly what they should try to avoid or include on their next job application.
1. Formatting and reader experience
One mistake commonly found on resumes is the use of confusing formatting that does not have a good flow. If there is too much going on, then the recruiters are not going to be able to read what is important. It is also good to consider a minimal use of graphics (unless you are applying to be a graphic designer) as they take up too much space on the page. The information needs to be found easily.
2. Talking in a Different Tense
Tenses need to be consistent since it shows an attention to detail and it may also through a recruiter off if you begin using a more passive tense and then change to a positive one within the same sentence. This is especially true of cover letters. Tell a consistent narrative that is easy to follow and it will improve your chances of being selected for an interview tenfold.
3. Proof Reading
Litchfield admits that the amount of easy spelling and grammar mistakes he finds on a regular basis is quite alarming. Most human resource professionals use ‘Applicant Tracking Systems’ to read through massive amounts of job applications quickly, and spelling mistakes are the lowest hanging fruit. They really will not waste time on reading an application with easy spelling mistakes. Always triple check before you submit!
4. Relevance and Efficiency
People assume that quantity over quality will land them a position, meaning they apply to several companies and positions with the same generic resume. The opposite in fact is what tends to be true. Grey suggests that you tailor your resume to a specific job or company, have a personalized cover letter, and really highlight your transferable skills so they know exactly what value you can bring to the table. Definitely highlight any portfolios, professional social media, and other tools that can differentiate you from other applicants.
5. Not Precise enough
Finally, one thing that makes all the difference is how specific an applicant is with the responsibilities they have taken on, the experience they have, and the skills they possess. Highlighting the work you did within a team setting, listing a specific accomplishment, and explaining the value you added in your previous job in a measurable way lets the recruiter know your capabilities on a deeper level. It is also key to list the specific dates you worked in a job so that recruiters can tell if there are gaps in your employment history and what you did in that time you were not working. Being proactive and productive is something that recruiters really like to see, so if you participated in some skill-building courses while you were in-between jobs, it really is a good idea to showcase that.
With these tips, you should be well on your way to creating a resume that can make a good impression even within such a small timeframe! For a more in-depth look into how to craft the perfect resume, including a step-by-step instructional guide given by two recruiting experts, then watch the replay of the FREE and INTERACTIVE DotsLive stream, and really beat out the competition!