Is Your Resume Costing You Jobs?

May 20, 2019

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Posted by: Nicola Malcolm



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From obvious spelling mistakes to subtle formatting errors, a poorly written resume could quickly eliminate you as a candidate.

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If you’ve been struggling to make it to the interview stage, consider whether your resume may be at fault, and learn what you can do to improve it.  

You Made Spelling Mistakes

Spelling and grammar errors are the small mistakes that make it easy to filter out applicants. An extra letter here or a lack of punctuation there can be damaging because it can be perceived as a lack of attention to detail.

It pays to proofread your resume multiple times, using both a computer and a hard copy. Once you’ve reviewed it, have a friend take a look as well.

You Still Use Your Highschool Email Address

Email is considered the first and preferred point of contact, meaning it will be one of the first pieces of information a hiring manager notices. The best email address is simple and professional, combining your first initial and last name. Creating an email address is free, and candidates with outlandish email addresses could be damaging their professional image without realizing it.

It’s never a bad idea to consider implementing new resume trends, and this includes listing only pertinent contact information. Resumes no longer need to include your street address. Your LinkedIn URL, phone number, and email are enough.

You Included Irrelevant Information

Irrelevant information plays out in two ways: In one, you’ve included so much experience that it no longer relates to the job you applied to. In the other, the information you’ve listed is generic to the point where it could fit any job description.

When you provide irrelevant information, you could be including experience that doesn’t match the required skill set for the job you’ve applied to. If you’ve been working for twenty years, you don’t need to list all your work experience during that time. Instead, you can limit it to experience that’s relevant to the role you’ve applied to. If you’re a new graduate, there’s likely no need to highlight your first part-time job, either.

It’s important your resume matches what’s listed in the job description so you can ensure you’re only including relevant information. That means tailoring your resume to each job.

You’ve Overstuffed the Keywords

Keywords are often what get your resume past the first barrier and in front of a hiring manager. It’s important to get past recruiting software, but your resume still needs to be written for humans.

A great resume flows naturally. It incorporates a variety of keywords from the job posting without going overboard.

Your Resume Is a Wall of Text

A wall of text is a visual eyesore. Instead, break up your work experience and education using simple, minimalist formatting. Short sentences and bullet points make your resume easy to read and scan. White space between lines separates your various jobs from your post-secondary degrees.

Creating a stand-out resume doesn’t mean using bold colours and logos. There are ways to format your resume and remain professional, without involving charts or your photo. Keep it simple and make sure it’s easy to read.

There could be many reasons why you’re not getting hired. Your resume may be the problem.


Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

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