You’ve probably heard the general points made about your Resume. Are there spelling mistakes? Is the grammar questionable? Is it too long? Why did you choose that photo?
But it’s often it is the ‘one percenters’ that can be interpreted by recruiters in ways you might not have thought of. I’ve chosen four common ones, but there are plenty more.
- A fancy layout with multiple columns, squares & circles. Yes it’s edgy, cool and creative… but if the role isn’t calling for creativity, it is a ruse to leave as little space for what you actually did in the role… because you didn’t do much? Is the layout making the reader do all the work to find the information? Best to not over-complicate things.
- How you represent dates: Any time that you just put the year (e.g. 2016 or 2016-2017) it’s considered vague. Are you hiding some gaps? We assume so. Just use Month-Year – it’s easily the best format. Oh and don’t use exact dates (e.g. May 27 2016 – August 10 2017) It is just a little too specific, if not a little creepy!
- Did the job advertisement include the recruiter’s name? Use it. Writing “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Dear HR Team”, or whatever you’ve decided to go with at your own risk. Not paying attention to this little detail tells us you’re not personally interested in who wrote the ad (99% of the time it’s the ad writer who is reading your application).
- 20+ dot points for responsibilities are too many. It’s easy to write everything down and demand the reader to do the cherry picking themselves. It’s also a little ‘needy’ when you feel as though you just have to tell the reader absolutely every minute detail about what you did.
The unfortunate rub is that the interpretation of these one-percenters is in the eye of the beholder. I’m sure there are recruiters out there who would disagree on some of the items above. If you’ve got a good relationship with a recruiter – ask them about the points above and go with what you think paints the clearest, most concise picture of yourself.