As a Recruiter, I have read thousands of resumes. It takes approximately 5 – 10 seconds to determine if I am going to reject someone’s application. Resumes don’t just provide an overview of your skills and experience, it is a reflection of your professionalism, focus and attention to detail. Less than 17% of people read cover letters so your resume has to be spot on!
1. Badly formatted resumes come across as unprofessional and lazy.. Make sure it’s easy to read and avoid adding details that don’t fit into these 4 categories.
a) Personal Details
b) Relevant Education / Qualifications / Courses
c) Relevant Work Skills
d) Employment History
2. Fancy scripts and multiple fonts make your resume harder to read. Stick to one standard font throughout your resume.
3. Size matters. Keep the font size for your content between 9 – 10 and between 12 – 14 for titles.
4. Work History dates out of order. Put your current or last role first and work backwards from there. Double check your dates and briefly note reasons for any lengthy gaps.
5. Keep your resume short and no longer than 3 pages.
6. Never include a photo! Don’t give the reviewer a reason to unconsciously discriminate against you. I’ve seen photos of bikini shots, family portraits and even someone’s pets and they always end up in the rejection bin.
1. Unprofessional email addresses make the person reviewing your resume question your personality and commitment. Use a generic name.lastname@email address so you can’t be prejudged.
2. Don’t include social media links unless they are work specific. If you make it past the first resume cut, it’s the first thing they click on. You will be googled so I’d also recommend turning all your social media accounts to private until you complete your job search.
3. Keep your education, qualification and training courses relevant to the industry or job you want. Adding your RSA Course from 2010 doesn’t help your application if you are applying for a non-hospitality based role.
4. Attributes are not skills. A work skills section makes it easier for a hiring manager to ascertain if your suitability. Include skills relevant to the job application and don’t include attributes like “positive attitude” and “team player”.
5. Company jargon. Don’t use it unless you are applying for a position within the same organisation. It’s perfectly acceptable to change job titles or company used phrases to more relevant generic job titles and work duties.
6. Don’t list out every job duty in your employment history. Use bullet points to highlight the most important and relevant job duties and don’t forget to highlight your achievements.
7. Volunteer experience. Only add it in if its relevant and you haven’t got enough paid work experience to substantiate your application.
8. Don’t list your hobbies. I’ve seen managers reject candidates based on their hobby.
9. There is no point in providing references at this stage. I’d recommend leaving them off all together so they can’t be called prior to meeting you. References have to be work-related.
10. Grammar and spelling mistakes. Every program has a checking facility. Please use it!