That is the average time a recruiter spends looking at your resume and deciding whether you are qualified or not for the role. This is based on a research done by TheLadders.com. Presumably, because recruiters get hundreds of applicants for a single job opening.
During that short window, you have to catch their attention and be able to tell them your career experience and why you are a good fit for the role. That is why your resume should be designed and framed correctly to give you a better chance of getting noticed and land an interview. Make every word count and remove all the unnecessary.
With that, we have listed below 11 things that recruiters are not looking for in a resume. Make sure you bear these in mind and hopefully these are not included in yours.
- Irrelevant personal information – Height, weight, birthday, etc. are not really significant and does not qualify or disqualify you for a role. Hiring people do not want to be labeled discriminatory and so these are unimportant.
- Overused career objective – Career objectives has been quite helpful years ago until everyone decides that they seek a position in a company that would utilize their skills and proven knowledge for the success of the organization. Sounds familiar? Yes, recruiters are fed up with these similar career objectives that they don’t give much attention to it as before. It seems that it has been copied from other people’s resume. Do not use it, instead, make a clear and well-detailed career summary then weave it in there.
- Fancy and extravagant template – Unless you are in the creative industry, using overdesigned resume takes away the focus on the important things a recruiter need to see. It has to be professional-looking, concise and easy to understand.
- Character reference available upon request – Either you provide those or just don’t include that phrase. It’s as good as saying it’s unavailable. Character references can be helpful especially if you have a solid people on your list. However, make sure you have their permission before you put them in it as a courtesy.
- Irrelevant skills – Almost everybody is computer literate and knows how to operate Microsoft word or excel. Such basic skills should not appear on your resume. The fact that you have your resume in Word format and have been able to send it to them thru email is a testament. It will only take up space which can be used to express more valuable information. Only include those that are specifically relevant to the job position.
- Repeated job descriptions – The intention is to be able to tell your experience to the recruiters at a glance. Using repeated job description is unnecessary. Inspected A, Inspected B, Inspected C… and so on. It is like when you do an essay and you only have 400 words on it but your teacher said it has to be 500? Make it direct to the point, meaty and interesting.
- Non-notable hobbies – Have you won a bronze medal in an international surfing competition? Or have been involved in a non-profit fundraising thru your sport? Put hobbies that are notable. Watching and casually playing basketball should not be included in your resume. If you want to show your personality thru your hobbies, make sure it stirs up the interest of the reader for you to stand out.
- Typographical errors – Typo errors are a red flag to recruiters. This may mean that you have not spent time checking and reviewing your resume before submitting. It should be letter perfect before submitting to employers or recruiters
- Non-standard fonts – Do not use fonts that are difficult to read. Stick to the widely used ones such as Times New Roman and Arial. Feel free to emphasize your skills using bold letters.
- Educational background – Only include your vocational, college degree or master/professional course that you have completed. High school and elementary background almost don’t matter.
- Use of “weak” words – Attended, assisted, helped, etc should NOT be your choice of words as these are subjective and are not very attractive. This can mean that you have done nothing and can make you appear inexperienced and unskilled. Instead, you can opt to replace these with collaborated, facilitated or accompanied.
Your resumes have to be updated and checked each time you apply for a job making sure it is framed properly and fully suited to the desired position you are looking for.
If you are interested to know how your current resume can be optimized to boost your chance of landing an interview, send it to email@example.com and we will critique it for FREE.
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