5. Too Much Content, Not Enough Formatting – While too many bullet points and too few tangible descriptions can hurt, so can long-winded paragraphs about your duties at your last position. When
This is especially the case when the resume is written in a hard to read font. The top hiring companies and recruiting firms are inundated with resumes nearly every 5 or so minutes, your resume may be full of information that is pertinent to the job at hand, but if you don’t guide the reader’s eye, chances are they’ll become fatigued looking for it and move on to the next one.
Remedy – Have a judicious mix of bullet points, bolding and line-breaks throughout your resume. If you find that you are writing paragraphs over 3 sentences, stop and figure out a way to extract the pertinent information and make it easier to find.
You could have the best resume out there, but if nobody reads it, it will it do no justice.
6. Not Listening to Submission Instructions – Running an executive recruiting agency, as a sales recruiter myself, I can tell you that there is nothing that looks worse than those who think they are a special case. When applying to a job, regardless of how spot-on of a match you are and how excited you are to get that resume in the inbox of the recipient, keep within regulations.
This means that if the application instructions say 2 pages max on your resume, don’t submit 3 pages.
Many times job seekers mistake resume instructions for meaning that their submission is going to go to a bottomless pit of an inbox, when it simply may be a HR process that has been going on for years and has nothing to do with the sort.
However, 90% of the time when job seekers buck the submission rules simply to get noticed, they get passed over without even a glance at their credentials.
Remedy – While remedying this habit is more of a self-discipline that needs to be learned rather than a resume tweak, be sure that the more “special submissions” you submit, the more lost opportunities you’re going to have regardless of resume content, format or credentials.
7. Mass Emails and “CC’s” – There is nothing sloppier and more seemingly disrespectful than writing a mass email to 100’s of recruiters and hiring managers who are in competition with one another and, thus trying to leverage this to see if the recipients will have a bidding war.
I don’t know of a reputable headhunter who answers these emails and, even worse you are put into that staffing agency’s spam mail for good.
Remedy – Take the time to apply to the right jobs for you and, if you want people to read your resume, take the time to read their job description and apply accordingly.