What's going wrong with your resume?

5 Reasons Your Resume Will Never Get Read

This is a guest post by Dan Keller.

Are you struggling to get interviews and land that job? Your resume may be the culprit.

The competition for most jobs is fierce and recruiters are overwhelmed by the amount of resumes they receive for job openings. If your resume does not shine, chances are you will be passed over.

Here are five areas where your resume may be falling short.

Does your resume include any of the following: (check all that apply)

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1) No impact

You have about 20 seconds to grab your readers attention and hook them into reading more.

It is not uncommon for recruiters to look through several hundred resumes for just one job posting. With the odds stacked up against you, it is vital that your resume create impact and make a great first impression.

An employer wants to quickly find out why they should invite you an for an interview. If you are not providing this information in a clear and compelling manner, they will simply move on the next resume.

2) Poor layout

The visual layout and appearance of your resume is just as important as the content. Be sure to use an appropriate format with well-defined sections that allow for the reader to quickly find the information they are seeking.

A typical resume format will include the following resume sections:

  • Summary of Experience or Profile
  • Significant Accomplishments
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Training or Certifications

3) Size matters

There is no set rule about the length of your resume but conventional wisdom suggests that if you are a recent grad or entry level job seeker, you should have a one page resume.

If you have been working for over 5 years, then a two page resume will probably make sense. You want to make sure to include as much relevant information to convey your experience in a way that demonstrates your fit for the position.

Keep in mind your resume is not your life story, if you find yourself going past page three you will want to look for ways to pare it down.

Remember, you have about 20 seconds to make your impression.

4) Lack of accomplishments

Your resume accomplishments section is your chance to shine and really connect with the employer. Companies are looking for the best of the best and this section will tell the employer why you should be the one they hire. Many job seekers have a difficult time pointing to significant achievements, so here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • What problems have you solved?
  • What policies or procedures have you devised?
  • Have you been selected to train other employees?
  • What have you changed or improved anything?
  • Have you exceeded your goals?
  • Have you won any awards?
  • Have you received recognition from management or peers?

5) Poor Ggrammar, typos and mistakes

typo error cartoon
Over half of all resumes are said to contain at least one error (!).

When recruiters are looking to screen out resumes, an error or typo can make all the difference. The impression that errors in resumes make is that you are a careless person and do not possess the attention to detail that is required in many positions.

Be sure to read your resume several times, run it through a spell checker and then have at least two other people read it over as well.

It is also wise to print out a copy of your resume as you may pick out mistakes that you may have missed while reading it on your computer screen.

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About the Author

Dan Keller is an experienced recruiter, resume writer, author and blogger. For more resume tips be sure to visit his blog CareerCopilot.com and follow him on Twitter @careerblogger.

A variation of this article was originally part of the Over $6000 in Prizes: It’s The 6th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our sponsor:

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Andrew LaCivita

    Nothing is as underwhelming as a poorly-written resume. There is no excuse for spelling errors. Unfortunately, so many students are never taught how to write a proper resume. It all leads back to communication!

  2. Ariana Klassen-Glanzer

    In section 3, it should be “pare” it down, not “pair” it down.

    1. Jacob Share

      Thanks Ariana. Homonym typos annoy me too. I read a blog post a few minutes ago with this quote:

      Architects believed that forcing people to use the stairs would lesson the foot traffic

      Unfortunately, comments aren’t open there so I can’t suggest the correction like you did.

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