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Is Your Resume Scaring Off Employers?

Posted by ICS Canada

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When you’re looking to apply to a new position, you’re going to take time to go through your resume and update it. You take your time to make sure the font used is appropriate, the language used is impeccable, and that you’re presenting the best version of your experience and skills. It looks great and you’re confident when you submit it that you’re a shoe-in for the job. But time passes, you’ve submitted your resume to several companies and jobs you’re qualified for and haven’t been able to secure a single interview. It could be timing, the companies could have simply found their new hires right as you were applying…or you could be scaring employers away with your resume. Here’s what you may be doing wrong:

Typos and misspellings.
While most recruiters and hiring managers will not penalize you for one or two typos (we’re all human and make mistakes), when you’re resume is a mess they aren’t going to consider you as a potential hire. A messy, typo ridden resume tells the person reviewing it that you don’t care enough about the position to take the advice of spellcheck. Even if you’re incredibly hardworking, a sloppy resume seems to scream “lazy and inattentive” to employers.

When you’re getting ready to submit a resume to an open position, take the time to go through it two, three, four times to check for errors. It’s also helpful to have a trusted friend or colleague proofread it. Another person may catch mistakes our brain is hiding from us!

Too much jargon.
No matter what position you’re applying to, too much jargon or technical language on your resume (especially if it isn’t relevant to the position you’re currently applying to) can be a huge turn off to hiring managers. Using overly corporate or technical language isn’t always the best way to demonstrate your knowledge and skill, especially in the brief space allotted on a resume! You do want to pay attention to phrasing and diction when you’re typing up a description of your previous duties. But if you have to use a dictionary or thesaurus to tell someone what you did at your last position, you may want to reconsider what you’re writing.

When you’re writing out a description of your duties, start by using the simplest explanation possible and then build it out from there. Again, having a friend or trusted coworker proofread can be a huge help; they’ll let you know if you’re going a little overboard with unnecessary words.

Your resume is a novel.
The general rule of thumb is that your resume should not exceed more than a page or two. If you include every single job or volunteer opportunity you’ve done since you joined the workforce, it might cover a lot of white space. However, your real qualifications will get lost in the mix. Things that aren’t relevant to the job you’re applying for or that are older than, say, ten years are clutter.

When you’re updating your resume, make sure to include what’s relevant to the job you’re looking for. The stint working in the ice cream shoppe in high school might show you’ve been working for awhile but it doesn’t match up with an employer looking for a graphic designer.

We all get nervous when we’re revamping our resumes and applying for positions were very interested in. When we’re nervous, we feel the need to pad our resume with long words, dated experience, and fluff. Don’t do it on your own. Seeking the assistance of a professional, certified career coach or a trusted friend to review your resume can make a difference between scoring an interview and never hearing back.

Categories: Career Planning

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