Imagine a recruiter, who has been trying to fill multiple roles. They draft the job description, post the opportunity across platforms, and then have to troll through the line-up of various applicants. They barely give your resume a glance, taking decisions quickly to filter through. And we’re not pointing blame because, really, how can you? Even in the era of digitization, the hiring process remains quite tedious. Recruiters are bombarded with scores of resumes and potential candidates for each particular job. Expecting them to carefully read every detail of your resume on first glance would be a bit extreme. Your resume needs to be engaging, speaking to the recruiter…loudly and quickly.
It’s not only a candidate’s intellectual training and capabilities that make them a good contender. Recruiters are now placing great importance on social and communication skills and the best way to communicate with your recruiter is through an interesting resume!
No, decorating your resume with different fonts or color filled isn’t going to do the trick. Make sure to avoid the following 5 mistakes, which make your resume get rejected in the first round.
1. Optimize your resume with keywords
Recruiters are not looking for ‘cool email address of the year’ or how well organised your basic details are. The skills for your resume place a HUGE role in segregating you from the crowd. So, make sure that your resume highlights the core keywords for the job.
A Pro Tip: Upload the job description to a Word Cloud aggregator to see what is repeating the most important words. You can then tweak your resume to place these key words.
Make sure that your format includes profile headline, highlighting core keywords as your skills. For example:
• Senior Java Developer with 4+ years of experience in full SDLC
• Features copywriter with 5.7 years of experience profiling entertainment, fashion and lifestyle writing
2. Overflowing resume
One of the primary reasons why recruiters aren’t able to look at resumes in detail is the lack of time. Be concise. Try to keep the content to the point.
The most efficient way to do is look at your resume format from an aerial view. Ask yourself, ‘Is this necessary? Is it important? Would this be of interest?’ and if they answer is not a strong ‘Yes’ – cut it.
- Use bullet points instead of descriptive paragraphs
- Take minimal space with your basic details
- Mention only relevant information
- Cut experience that is no longer relevant aka 4+ years old with a career shift
Consistency matters. As much you should try to keep your resume format short that does not mean you should avoid sharing important details, like salary expectation, especially if the recruiter has specifically asked for in the job posting.
In case you have a gap year or took some time off between switching jobs, it’s important that you mention the reason at the end of your resume to avoid inconsistency. This will save a lot of time for both yourself and the recruiter and avoid any kind of misjudgment or misunderstanding. Alternatively, you can explain these points in your cover letter before sharing your resume.
4. Unprofessional approach
Pre-interview communication begin right from the moment your resume lands in the recruiter’s email. Some of us may have created a ‘cool’ email during our school or college time, but most of them might not put you in the ‘good candidate’ pool. For example, email@example.com may have turned you into an overnight mini-celebrity amongst your friends, but your recruiter might not share a similar feeling.
One of the many first things that a recruiter sees is your email. So, the going advice is to maintain professionalism.
Also, ensure that you stick to the slotted times. Recruiters are busy and their time is valuable to you. Show them.
5. Visually non-appealing
Remember that recruiters gives a 30 second glance to your resume? It’s important to keep your resume format precise, but as previously stated that doesn’t mean you should reduce the font and cram everything in a single page. Simply put, if a recruiter can’t read your resume easily or in a skim, it’s unlikely that they’ll show interest.
In addition, a poorly written resume is an eye-sore. If a recruiter has to spend time to understand what you’ve written, you can anticipate being eliminated from the candidate pool. We advise:
- Keep the font 10 or higher
- Spell and grammar check your resume before sending it
- Have it reviewed by at least 2 other people
I hope the above pointers help you come up with an effective and successful resume. Good luck with your job search!