The resume is typically the first introduction between a job seeker and hiring manager. A job posting can attract dozens, hundreds, even thousands of resumes, making the hiring decision a difficult one. Certain red flags can and do appear on these documents that make it easy to eliminate a potential employee before he is ever given an interview.
Many people see a job posting and feel they need to do anything they can to stand out from the competition. They want to be the best recruit for the job. But one red flag for any company is receiving a resume that is completely outlandish. Some examples of this include resumes covered in glitter, written on coffee mugs or clothing, or sent with a bouquet of flowers. While this is a surefire way to get noticed, employers won’t take you seriously and will toss your resume, glitter and all.
Another red flag is vagueness. If there are no dates for employment or accomplishments are discussed in an obscure fashion, the hiring manager should be wary. A strong resume, on the other hand, will have specific and impactful information, such as sales numbers or other metrics.
Writing in full sentences is also not recommended. Keep it short and sweet by using bullet points. Those applicants who write a novel-length resume will find themselves on the outside looking in.
Spelling or grammatical errors should be the easiest things to avoid, yet hiring managers report they receive these mistakes all the time. Candidates even misspell their OWN names! If you write in a sloppy fashion it suggests to the hiring manager that you will be a sloppy employee who does not take pride in his work. To avoid this embarrassment, have at least two other people review your resume before you apply to jobs. Don’t rely on spell check because it doesn’t always work.
The email address is an important tool and should be professional. Referring to yourself as “Partyguy123″ will leave you with plenty of time to party — because an employer won’t be anxious to speak with you. Most email accounts are free, so it’s easy to get an address that’s taken seriously.
Looking for a job is stressful enough without making it harder by having these red flags staring an employer in the face. A resume should present a person in his best light and as the answer to the manager’s employment problems. Good luck!