For a job seeker or job changer, your resume is your business card. It is an important part of your personal branding tools.
Can I ask – does it make you stand out?
Most people meet your resume before they meet you and the creation of good impression starts from here.
While I agree that resumes are taking on unconventional forms, the majority of firms still do the conventional resume types.
Except you are applying to a Google or an advertising firm, multimedia resumes are yet to gain that traction, at least in most parts of the world.
In my experience providing recruitment services to small businesses, I have found some turn offs and turn-ons.
Let me share 5 things that will make me a recruiter discard your resume.
1. Your resume lacks personality
Why won’t your resume lack personality when it’s a carelessly edited version of someone’s resume you found online. It looks the same like everything else I have found around because it’s not you and as such you can sell yourself effectively.
The greatest crime to commit when searching for a job is to be common.
It starts when a mere look at your resume gives me that deja vu that I have seen this somewhere under another name.
There is a problem if I have to meet you and doubt your resume or if you are bigger than your resume. The former is the crime of overselling. The latter is the crime of underselling.
Be thoughtful to ensure your resume captures your essence and that the personality you exude at the interview authenticates what is written. It’s wisdom to make your resume distinct and a good reflection of you.
Everybody claims to have good written and speaking skills. Is it really true when we get to meet you?
2. You use long-winded career objectives
This is by far the most annoying part of most resumes that I review. The career objectives usually betrays your distinction. In spite of being very wordy, most career objectives gives no clue about who you are, your experiences and aspirations.
It can even by more annoying by being so long-winded.
Instead of using a career objective, use a personal profile that describes who you are, your experiences and your aspirations. It should be between 2-3 sentences. Brevity is sacrosanct.
Your personal profile is the best way to give your resume a personality and it is better used at the beginning of your resume.
3. Information on your resume is badly arranged
I got this advice from Kunle Olaifa, The Head, HR at Samsung West Africa back then in 2012 when I attended Workplace and Enterprise Readiness (WeReady) programme, an intense learning event organized by Aruosa Osemwegie, the author of the best seller, Getting a Job is A Job.
This is the gist – The information that you think is important to you is probably of no value to a recruiter. Please ensure your most important information is on the first page of your resume. If your first page is not captivating, you have lost it.
If you are applying for a job that requires a certain qualification, it had better be on your first page. However, most of the time, your professional experiences and achievements (not your job description please) should appear on the first page.
The basics is to understand the information that is important to the recruiter and present as much of it on the first page.
Don’t distorting your resume with long bio data. If the recruiter makes a hiring decision, it will be requested for on your personal data form.
4. Your resume has a lot of typos, multiple fonts, hazy formatting
I made a strange observation. You made bogus claims in your personal qualities of being attentive to details, how come there are so many typos, mixture of arial, Calibri and times new romans in your resume.
A resume is never an aesthetic document. It is serious business document especially for a job seeker.
Excess typos shows lack of depth, shallowness and a lack of attention to detail, very much contrary to your claim.
It is best to give your resume to someone whose judgment you trust to take a critical look at your resume before sending.
Visual appeal is very important and this is not to mean distracting graphic designs. The resume should arranged simply, formatted to make important information about you accessible. Use capital, bold fonts with discretion. Ensure the information is important if you have to. Bolden your important headers.
5. Blasting a generic resume and cover letter everywhere
The disadvantage of this technique is that it undermines your job search and turns it to a numbers game, more like a lottery. Trust me it shows. A recruiter can see the lack of thoughtfulness.
Accidentally, in blasting a generic resume hoping it will hit the right spot, you hit none. Funny enough, I have seen cover letters and resumes addressed to another employer or looking like an application for another job while having the header of the correct application.
Always tailor your resume to the relevant job, highlighting the skill sets you have that make you suitable for that role.
I have met applicants who can’t remember when they applied for the job. When asked what job they are applying for, then I hear, “I applied for so many jobs and can’t tell specifically what this one is. I just responded to the invitation.”
It gives you up and dampens the enthusiasm of the recruiter. Please stop blasting generic resumes.
Let’s have a conversation
Can you take a look at your current CV and find out which of these five things you are guilty of? Is it possible you need professional help to review your resume? When do you plan to get it?
Please feel free to share other reasons you have garnered from your own experience.