Why Your Resume is Holding You Back From Landing the Job

By Gerald Buck | Small Business

Many resumes land in a wastebasket before being read fully.


Not because employers are mean people who like to waste your precious time. It’s because most resumes are actually time wasters.

The most important thing to remember about your resume is that it’s your only chance to get a foot in the door for an interview.

With that in mind, avoid writing a resume that repels instead of attracting employers.

If you’re unsure of whether your resume is helping or hindering your job search, keep reading. Here are a few reasons why your resume could be holding you back from landing the job.

1. Your resume has errors.

Errors include

  • spelling errors
  • grammar errors
  • formatting errors

Each of those things affect the presentation of your resume. Presentation must be perfect if you expect to be taken seriously enough to receive an invitation to interview.

Spelling errors tell employers that you don’t care enough to double check your writing. No one wants to hire a person who doesn’t proofread.

Grammatical errors indicate trouble communicating. Even if it is a mistake and you really have excellent communication skills, a resume with grammatical errors doesn’t make that apparent.

Formatting errors refer to inconsistencies in things like your resume’s headlines and font.

As minor as it seems to some people, these things will hold you back from landing the job you want.

2. Your resume is too long.

Here’s a rule of thumb: Keep your resume at one page long.

It’s understood that some people have more complex or longer job histories. They may not be able to limit everything they’ve done to one page. That’s okay.

But try to stay as close to one page as possible.

Challenging yourself to keep your resume at one page long forces you to be creative with your words. You use less filler words like

  • great
  • best
  • exceptional

and start using power words that matter like

  • strategize
  • upsell
  • coordinate

“Power words” give clear explanations of what you’ve done in your professional experience. By using power words, you don’t have to insert adjectives to hype up your skills.

3. Your resume is out of order.

While there’s no ONE correct way to write a resume, there are several incorrect ways to do it.

If your resume does not tell a story about you as a worker, it is failing you.

Your resume should start with a short introduction of yourself and the exact position you want. From there, detail your background experience and education that make you an ideal candidate for the job.

Avoid adding sections like Hobbies or Extracurricular Activities to your resume – especially before you explain the important information like

  • work history
  • degree(s)/certification(s)
  • strong skills

4. Your resume does not give employers a reason to interview you.

Although you submit a resume when you want a job, the resume itself should actually be about the employer.

Explain how your past job responsibilities are relevant to the position you want. Show how your educational background prepared you to apply yourself self in that position. Make it clear that your acquired skills provide solutions.

Everything on your resume should plead a strong case about why you’re the best person to hire. If you read through your resume and a line doesn’t give the employer a specific reason to hire you, delete it.

That helps keep your resume as concise as possible.

5. Your resume does not match your online presence.

This is mostly for younger applicants.

Your resume paints a picture that makes employers want to know more about you. To find out more, they google you…

Paradoxically, the better your resume, the worse you’ll look if your online presence doesn’t match up. Since you can’t turn in a crappy resume, you’ll have to clean up your act on the Internet.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore. It just means being extra cautious around friends who snap candid shots of you on your worst behavior. Also watch what you post online yourself.

Luckily, these are all simple changes.

Can you think of any other mistakes that could make your resume a job repellant?

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