Is Your Resume Scaring Off Employers?

scaring off employers

Overlooking typos and grammatical errors.

Including paragraphs of content about your childhood.

Listing your height, weight, and marital status.

Common sense tells you that these resume blunders would be enough to spook recruiters – and knock you out of contention for a job you really want.

But beyond these obvious errors, what other resume mistakes could be holding you back? In the spirit of Halloween, we’re sharing tips to take your resume from scary to stellar:

Mistake 1: Using passive language.

What’s passive language? In a passive sentence, the action object is the subject of the sentence (e.g., “The promotion was given to me.”). While this voice isn’t wrong per se, switching to active voice (so the subject performs the action) makes your language much more powerful (e.g., “I earned the promotion.”). See the difference?

When you’re reviewing your resume, check each sentence to make sure it’s in an active voice. While you don’t want to start every sentence with “I,” it’s fine to do so occasionally to highlight the work you performed and results you accomplished.

Mistake 2: Wasting valuable real estate on extraneous information.

Every line of your resume is valuable. If you’re including:

  • a headshot
  • a list of references, or the phrase “references available upon request”
  • your hobbies

… you’re wasting space (and the recruiter’s time). At the top of your resume, make sure you include:

  • your name
  • your phone number and email address
  • a link to your LinkedIn profile and/or digital portfolio (if applicable)

Kick the fluff to the curb. Doing allows the reader to get to the “good stuff” more quickly while showing that you’ve thoughtfully constructed your resume with your audience in mind.

Mistake 3: Including clichés.

Here’s the thing: Employers expect you to be an honest, hard-working, reliable, detail-oriented team player. There’s no need to spell it out for them on your resume. Scrutinize the descriptors you use to make sure they’re relevant to the available role and truly meaningful.

Mistake 4: Ignoring the need to capture attention.

Think like a hiring manager. If you were scanning dozens (or even hundreds) of resumes, what would make yours stand out? Here are a few tips for capturing a busy recruiter’s attention:

  • Tweak your lead-off to highlight accomplishments and facts that are relevant to the job posting.
  • If your resume has a Career Objective, make sure it’s concise and tailored to the position to which you’re applying.
  • Consider replacing the Career Objective section with a Career Profile. If you go this route, focus on what you can offer the employer – not the type of job you’re seeking.

Mistake 5: Failing to offer proof. 

Numbers, data, and other forms of quantifiable results are far more powerful than generic phrases like “delivered great service,” “saved time” or “produced high-quality work.”

Skip the vague language and set yourself apart by using numbers to back up your claims (e.g., “increased sales from repeat customers by 10%,” “decreased client wait-times by three minutes,” etc.).

Need help refining your resume? 

Start by applying with PrideStaff. Our career experts can provide feedback to help you improve your resume – and your job prospects. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more or search for jobs here.