Your resume represents your career in two ways: what you have done in the past and what you hope to do in the future. In today’s competitive job market, the candidates have all the power since unemployment is so low. Your resume is what makes the first impression to potential employers, so you want it to be compelling and stand out among the crowd.

Although the job search and application process has changed thanks to technology, the necessity of a resume has remained unchanged. There are certain things that you should definitely include in your resume to be considered for the job. On the other hand, if you have any careless mistakes on your resume, an employer will likely toss it right into the “no” pile.

Our friends over at TopResume interviewed 379 former and current professionals involved in the hiring process (recruiters, hiring managers and human resources executives). They revealed 10 resume red flags that will derail your hiring chances before you even have the chance to interview.

Spelling and Grammatical Errors

This seems like a no brainer, but having any spelling and grammatical errors on your resume usually signifies a one-way ticket to getting rejected. This is particularly true when it comes to opportunities that go so far as to include being “detail oriented” in the job description.

Although these mistakes might be just that – a mistake – employers might view this as carelessness and disqualify you for the job. To ensure this isn’t the case, check out these proofreading tips for the next time you edit your resume.

Annoying Buzzwords and/or Obvious Keyword Stuffing

Thanks to the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS), employers don’t have to go through countless resumes before deciding who to interview for a job. While both a blessing and a curse for employers, there are ways for candidates to get around an ATS. One of the most popular tactics is the utilization of keywords.

Candidates should use keywords from the job description and include them in his or her resume before submitting the application. In doing so, the ATS will pick up on these words and will pass it along to the hiring manager. Job seekers need to be careful in doing this, however, as including too many keywords just for the sake of doing so will not only make your resume sound awkward, but also raise a red flag to the hiring manager.

Using keywords and buzzwords needs to be done in a natural manner. You should also avoid some of these most overused phrases if you want to improve your chances at landing an interview.

Being Too Generalized

Applying to jobs is easier than ever thanks to technology. However, often times due to this we as job seekers fall into the trap of being too lazy. This includes using a “spray and pray” method of applying to countless jobs and hoping for an interview anywhere. If you’ve used this method, chances are you created one generalized resume and sent it to each application. Hiring managers can pick up on these cookie cutter resumes pretty easily and often disqualify candidates who use one.

As a job seeker, you want to put forth the necessary time and effort to make your application a “can’t miss” for potential employers. This means you need to customize your resume for each job that you apply to. While it seems time consuming, it will all be worth it when you have an offer (or a few) to choose from in the end. This doesn’t mean you need to revamp your resume entirely for each job, but customizing each to the job to which you’re applying should be a given.

Managing Partner and Recruiter at ClarusApex, Stefan Lilienkamp said, “Lazy job applications for anything on the market without any tailoring is a complete deal breaker. End result, the candidate gets, in the best case, ignored, and worst case, blacklisted…”

As mentioned before, you should already be including keywords for the ATS to pick up on, so you can take it a step further and truly tailor it to each job.

Format/Design Is Too Elaborate

In something as competitive as the job market, job seekers will do some pretty wild things to stand out. While you want to catch the hiring manager’s eye, make sure it is for the right reason. There are stories of candidates sending hiring manger unique resumes in the form of an ingredient label, or what have you, a general rule of thumb when it comes to your resume is “less is more.”

If you have a solid background, your experience will speak for itself. Stick to a simple design where hiring managers can find what they are looking for with relative ease. If your resume is too elaborate, the ATS might not be able to find information either, and even if you have all the right keywords, etc., you might get rejected.

Wrap Up

For the rest of TopResume’s red flags, check out the full article here. Having a resume red flag is sure to derail even the most qualified candidate’s chances at getting hired. Before you apply for a new job, make sure that your resume is free of any of these red flags.

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