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10 Resume Errors that Recruiters Hate

By Susan Ranford

Recruiters see hundreds of resumes every day and as you would expect, there are some things that absolutely make them cringe. Many of those things are really entries that you can’t do anything about. You know, large gaps in your employment history, job jumping and so on. There are, however, some things that many people put on their CVs that are absolutely avoidable; things that will make every recruiter instantly lower your chances of getting through the screening process. Here are ten resume errors that recruiters hate and how to avoid them. 

Resume Errors that Recruiters Hate

1. Overcrowding Your Resume 

The average human attention span has dropped to just 8 seconds. Like most people, recruiters try to go through as much work as possible and that means skimming through CVs at a very high pace. When you overcrowd your resume with a lot of details, terribly small print and unusual formatting, you are only making it harder for them to skim through it. Yes, your resume font says a lot about your chances of either being pushed through or landing in the “discard” pile. Make it something basic like Arial 12 and give the paragraphs a lot of white space to make your resume easier to skim. 

2. Sending it on Google Docs without Granting the Proper Permissions

Start by the fact that you ideally shouldn’t be sharing your resume in Google Docs anyway. The best format is PDF where everyone can access it as intended. However, if you must share it in Google Docs (maybe it was a direct request from a recruiter) then give them the right permissions. Simply click “share” on the right hand corner of your document and enter their email address and allow them to view. 

3. An Unprofessional Looking Email Address

Your recruiter can tell a lot about you by your email address. Your best bet is to create something that is professional-looking and includes some iteration of your name. Try not to use any strange email addresses from Hotmail, Yahoo, Comcast and such. People tend to associate those with spam mail. You can create an entirely new Gmail address for free and use it for your job hunting. 

4. When You Get Creative with Your Fonts

Always use basic fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman to pass your message across. Make sure that they font size falls between 10-12 to make your resume easy to read. 

5. Not Including Enough Bullet Points

This goes back to the skimming thing. Recruiters have hundreds, if not thousands of emails to go through every week. Make their lives easier by making yours easy to skim. You can do this by adding a lot of bullet points, highlighting your headings by bolding and italicizing them and ensuring that there is enough white space around them. This way your recruiter can quickly and easily jump to the section in which they are most interested. 

6. Stating that You are “Proficient in Excel, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint”

It might seem as though this shows your tech-savviness but recruiters hate seeing it on your CV. It is assumed that since you went to college then you have basic proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. 

7. You Use Different Formats through the Resume

Your CV is your advert to your employer and it says a lot about how you organize yourself. If your formatting is all over the place, what you are basically advertising to the potential employer is that you are disorganized. Make sure that your formatting is uniform throughout the document. If you are bolding and italicizing the titles, bold and italicize all of them. 

8. Using the Pronouns “I” and “My”

Your resume isn’t the place to use “I” or “My”. Instead of saying something like “I develop departmental ad campaigns”, simply drop the “I” and say, “Develop departmental ad campaigns”. 

9. When Your Resume Has Spelling Errors

This is self-explanatory. As already mentioned, your resume is your ad meant to entice your potential employers. As such, they expect you to put great care into crafting it and having minor mistakes such as spelling errors doesn’t paint you in good light. It tells your potential employer that you are careless and don’t take the time to make sure you are doing the right thing. They will immediately assume that you will be just as careless with their job. 

10. Listing Your Responsibilities without Including your Accomplishments

The best kind of resume is not only short and to the point but also highlights why you would be a great addition to the company in question. Recruiters want to see that you can accomplish things. Simply listing your responsibilities without including your accomplishments appertaining to those responsibilities doesn’t tell them much about your skills and capabilities. Endeavor to highlight all the achievements you have accomplished in your previous job that would make you a perfect fit for this particular job. 

Many of these mistakes are easy to fix and only require a bit of proof-reading on your part. However, without correction, they are the kind of mistakes that recruiters hate and that will lead them to instantly discarding your application. 

About the author

Susan Ranford is an expert on career coaching, business advice, and workplace rights. She has written for New York Jobs, IAmWire, and ZipJob. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them –

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