7 ways to ensure your resume is rejected.

Your resume is your key selling tool, and often your first point of contact with a company you hope to work for. You pour hours of work into creating it, in the hope that it will get you noticed by a prospective employer and land you your dream job.

To ensure your hard work doesn’t go to waste by getting weeded out by the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS), check that you are not making the following mistakes:

1. Using the same resume for every job application.

Tempting though it may be, don’t use the identical resume for every job application. Your resume should be tailored to the job for which you are applying to ensure you have highlighted your most relevant skills and experience for the selection criteria.

2. Spelling & grammatical errors.

Sloppy spelling and grammar is a red flag to potential employers. It detracts from the content, and suggests that you don’t take pride in your work, or pay attention to detail. Ask a friend with strong spelling and grammar skills to proofread your resume, or use a reputable online editing program.

3. Forgetting to include keywords.

Many companies use an Applicant Tracking System to ensure applicants’ resumes match the position criteria. Resumes deemed to be a poor fit are weeded out before the manager even reads them, so be sure to read the position description thoroughly and include all relevant keywords.

4. Choosing the wrong resume format.

Knowing which resume format to use helps you sell yourself the most effectively. A chronological format is best for individuals whose skills match the job. A functional resume is best for those wanting to highlight their skills or seeking a career change. Combination format is ideal for those who have a mix of relevant skills and work experience.

5. Over-emphasising too many things.

Bold fonts should draw attention to your name, and other section headers. By emphasising too many things, you make your resume difficult to read, and effectively de-emphasise everything.

6. Emphasising employment gaps.

Employers are wary of short tenures and periods of unemployment. While you shouldn’t lie on a resume, you can minimise employment gaps by listing your work positions in years rather than months. You can also play up skills you acquired during periods of unemployment.

7. Making an objective statement instead of an executive summary.

An objective statement sets out your career aspirations – what you hope to achieve. It has become somewhat dated since the widespread use of Applicant tracking Systems. An executive summary, or elevator pitch, articulates your value and emphasises your key strengths.

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This article was adapted from an original article by James Hu, published on Jobscan Blog