Hiring managers have a limited amount of time to go through an almost unlimited amount of resumes. A single “red flag” and your resume will immediately be placed in the “No” pile. You don’t want to be in the “No” pile. The “No” pile usually means you won’t get the job. It’s science.
How do you avoid the “No” pile? You avoid “red flags” that tell hiring managers “Hey, this resume is probably not worth bothering with. Don’t bother with it.” Below are several things that red flag your resume.
Things Not to Do
- Decorate Your Resume
Your resume should simply be your resume. No smells, no strange colors, no fancy fonts. If your resume looks too artsy, or smells too much like the hiring manager’s grandmother, it is probably going to be ignored.
- Lame Words
If your resume has a lot of boring statements, like “Excellent Communication Skills,” it is going to quickly be ignored. Cliché’s or boring words are an immediate sign that you don’t have enough accomplishments in your resume.
- LOL Email Address
Does your email address make you look like a fool? Is it [email protected]? Always supply an email address that is professional and speaks to your character.
- Block Paragraphs
Resumes now should be written in a format that looks attractive to the eye, usually in the form of bullet points. There are occasionally times where a resume paragraph (/writing-your-resume-bullet-points-vs-paragraphs) might be useful, but even in those rare instances, you should not have some long, blocky paragraph that makes it hard to scan.
- It’s Greasy
If you sent in a paper resume, your resume should be clean and neat, as though freshly printed. It should be without bends or wrinkles or smears. Ideally you should send the paper in a large manila envelope, but if you must send it in a standard sized envelope, try to make the folds perfectly even. Sloppy folding is also a red flag.
- You List Ten Jobs
If you are listing every job you have ever held in your resume, that is a huge red flag. Resumes should only contain the latest and greatest jobs, and only two or three will suffice.
- Your Objective is Useless
It is arguable that you need an objective in the first place. Many working professionals remove the objective altogether, or replace it with a professional summary. However, if you do have an objective, remember that the objective statement is the first thing the hiring manager sees. If it is poor, such as “To make money and work at your company,” you are immediately flagged.
Don’t Red Flag Your Resume
Any error in your resume is going to be a red flag to the hiring manager. There was a time where employers would look at your resume in full, so that a small error did not necessary negate your chances. These days employers scan your resume, and fi they notice any of the above red flags, chances are you will not be considered for the job.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Make every word in your resume count.
- Don’t make it too fancy.
- Consider your objective statement.
- Yahoo list of resume red flags