How To Make Your Resume A Mess
Want to make sure you DON’T get the job? Here are some tips on making sure your resume gets no attention. (On the other hand, avoid these mistakes and yours is sure to get a second look.)
First, make sure your resume is up to date. If it’s out of date and you reach an interview, any information passed over verbally may conflict with that on your paperwork. You wouldn’t apply for income protection cover unless you had income to protect. An outdated resume raises warning flags for potential employers.
Include fancy fonts
Using fancy fonts should ensure your resume goes to the bottom of most HR manager’s list. Making your paperwork unreadable is not going to help your cause. Use fonts like Calibri and Times New Roman in a suitable type size. Too large and your information will obviously be lacking and too small may mean that someone has to send out for a microscope to view your text.
Don’t show your skills
Your skills are of primary importance. Your potential employer will look for these first to see if you match their requirements. Don’t hide this information in the small print much later on or it may not be seen at all.
Some HR managers won’t be able to read further than a few lines of your resume as time and too many applications means they have to make quick judgements. Give them reason to read further.
Word’s spellchecker will do
Poor spelling or grammar won’t help you. Do not rely on your word processor to find all of the mistakes. Read your document out loud to try to catch anything Microsoft may have missed. Check each word for the correct spelling as you may have typed a word that is spelt correctly, but is wrong for the sentence it is in. Get someone else to proof read your resume before you send it out.
It makes no sense to provide information about references that doesn’t match the information you provide in your resume. Check to see if the company names and addresses are still valid. A failed reference won’t move you towards your next employer.
Add dates to everything
It is best to leave dates to the end of your sentences. The dates don’t help an HR manager understand you until they have managed to find out if your work experiences are relevant first.
Leave large holes in your timelines
If you have been out of work or spent time doing volunteer work, then make sure you place information on your time line so that it doesn’t appear as though it is full of holes. HR managers will believe you have been in prison or involved in something else unsavoury if you try to hide holes in your time line. You might have been away looking after an aging relative. If that is so, complete your timeline as all holes are seen as negative points.
Include your religious beliefs
Unless it is 100% necessary leave out all of your religious details. While it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you, they may cast aside your resume for the wrong reasons and you will never find out why.
For the same reason, don’t include a picture of yourself as this may also be discriminated against for any number of reasons. Some employers still only interview attractive blonds.
Detail all your job descriptions.
There is no need to go into detail about your job role if the title is obvious. If you worked above your pay grade, then that is good useful additional information, but don’t explain away what people already know. If you flipped burgers at MacDonald’s, we all know what you did.
Make the resume look off centre
If you align all the sides of your information on your resume, it will look much more attractive than if you manage to make your resume look uneven all over. A better presentation helps the HR manager pick up your resume and read it, which is your initial target.
Ignore any industry standards
If you work in an industry that uses a standard convention for resumes, then use it. If they see a resume without the standard layout, they may cast your resume to the garbage before even reading your name and address.
Leave out your Contact information
Assuming you do want the position you are applying for; give the HR manager a good chance of communicating with you. Include your home address and email information. If you have a suitable Facebook or Twitter page, then include it, but don’t assume that HR managers will take kindly to improper talk on your Twitter page about competitors when you are seeking employment. It may guide them the wrong way when thinking about you.
Finally, make it easy for them to learn enough about you to invite you to the next stage – include all your contact telephone numbers.