First impressions are important whether it be in person, online or on paper. In the business world, your resume is your first impression to your potential future employer. A stunning fact, unfortunate as it is, is that hiring teams only look at resumes for a total of about 6 seconds. SIX SECONDS. How on earth are you supposed to impress someone that fast? How do you make sure your resume isn’t tossed out on second 3? Job hunting is stressful enough as it is when you send out resumes and don’t hear anything back it could make it that much more stressful. To help knock off some of those jitters RSG has some tips to help you exclude the red flags that employers look for in your resume.
Make sure your resume isn’t general. While it is not the most prolific red flag, Employers can tell if your resume is formatted for specific jobs, don’t try to make it work for every position you’re applying to. Little, job specific, tweaks really make a difference. A red flag that is slightly worse, is not making sure your email is professional. No employer in their right mind should reach out to email@example.com. Keep it clean!
Weird colors or fonts—
While it may seem like a good idea to add colors and photos to your resume to stand out, but it just comes across unprofessional. If you use a ~fancy~ font you run the risk of your resume file not loading properly on the hiring team’s computers, if it doesn’t, they will automatically throw out your resume. If you don’t care enough to make sure your resume is universally recognizable, they don’t either.
Your resume should include specific dates and the format should be consistent. If you don’t include months employers are probably going by a backward “guilty until proven innocent” mindset. For example, if one of your positions has “2015-2017” and your next job shows “2017- present”, the hiring team might automatically assume you left in January of 2017 and started the next position in December.
Not only should your resume include specific dates, it should also include specific metrics. Instead of using words like multiple, various, or a plethora, use numbers to show the hiring team the impact of your work on your previous company.
Space on your resume is precious, why bog it down with lengthy paragraphs that no one will read? Have a consistent 3-5 bullet points for each section of your resume. You can use your cover letter to go into more detail but save the juicy stuff for your in-person interview.
Do you job jump? Do you have a weird gap in your employment? Have your job titles regressed in time? These are factors that hiring managers, recruiters and employers take into account. If you’ve had multiple jobs, that don’t last very long in the past year makes you look flakey. Employment gaps, for whatever reason, makes you look like you were fired. Job regression might be the most concerning. If you can progress in your personal career, how does your employer know that you can help their company progress? Be wary of these aspects.
If you follow these simple rules and avoid using red flags that employers look for in your resume, you will be sure to hear back from companies more consistently!