Watch out for these Interview-Costing Resume Red Flags

Posted On February 7, 2013

Finding work isn’t easy and can get very frustrating, especially if you don’t really know why you were passed up for a job when you know that you would be a perfect fit for it.

One possible reason why you’re not attracting employers as much as your work experience should is your resume. Traditionally, this document should sell your qualifications as clearly as possible. Seems simple enough. However, it’s not surprising that a lot of applicants get it wrong.

Perhaps this is the right time to review your resume to see if maybe it contains items that turn off prospective employers. Here are some items to look out for:

It Doesn’t Look Professionally Made

In an effort to stand out and show off your personality, you’ve decided on an unorthodox format, perhaps use a fanciful font like Comic Sans in bright red. Don’t laugh. It’s been known to happen. Remember to treat your resume like a formal document. Since most applications happen online, there is a big chance that your carefully put-together, newsletter-like formatting might look wacked out when viewed on another person’s computer motion.

Instead, choose a formal format that reads well and choose a font that’s more traditionally accepted and guaranteed to work in most operating systems and softwares. Fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial may not reflect your outgoing, funny side but there’s plenty of opportunity to showcase your personality during the interview process.

Your Resume is Full of Superfluous Information

There are a lot of things that you need on your resume. However, it’s also important to make sure that you leave out information that you don’t need. For instance, a job objective is unnecessary and can take up precious space. What’s more, objectives sound insincere. Expressing your career goals and expectations happen at the interview level.

Likewise, a list of references. Many people don’t list their references, instead opt for that “References available upon request” line, which is unnecessary. Make your resume as lean as possible.

Additionally, if you’re listing down your day-to-day duties and responsibilities for every job position you ever held, rest assured that your resume will not stand out from the hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes that your recruiter get. Instead, recruiters and employers are more interested in what you accomplished at your past jobs. Rather than writing down your job description, tell a story about how well you did your tasks and whether or not your methodology made a difference to your past employers.

Your Resume has Typos or Grammatical Mistakes

With modern word processing software featuring some form of spell- and grammar check, there’s no reason why your resume should have careless mistakes. It’s understandable that you would miss a few mistakes here and there even when you double- and triple-check your work. Our minds tend to skim through sentences that we have written. But that’s still no excuse for a sloppy resume. Have a friend go over your resume before sending it out.

Everyone knows that creating a resume isn’t easy and it would be a shame if, after all that effort, a recruiter or hiring manager chose to ignore yours just because of a few careless mistakes.