When you’re looking for a new job, you are likely sending out tons of resumes and hoping for the calls to flood in. What could go wrong?
In today’s technologically savvy world, it turns out that a lot more can go wrong than you think. Let’s look at some of the red flags that can pop up when a potential employer takes a careful look at your resume—and you.
Huge Gaps in Employment
Employers always frown upon large gaps in your employment history on your resume. This can raise a red flag. Employers start thinking, “why can’t this person keep a job? Are they going to quit shortly after they are hired?” Employers invest tons of money in finding and hiring employees. They don’t like to take chances. If your work history is spotty, they may just decide to pass on you. Maintaining a solid work history will ensure that you can find a new position or get a promotion when you want one.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t get a job. Don’t let this discourage you. You can take some time to volunteer in your field, take an industry-related course or class and add it as a time filler on the resume. If you took time off for a personal or family issue, you can also list that as a work entry with a few lines just explaining that you took a sabbatical. This looks better than leaving it open to the employer to assume you’ve been lounging on the couch for 6 months.
Social Media Fails
Today, many employers look to social media to learn more about their job candidates than what is merely reflected in their resume. Does your social media reflect the image you want to portray to people who may be about to offer you a position? Do all of your pictures show you partying and drinking with friends? This could create the impression of a problem with alcohol in the mind of a hiring manager. Do you have a lot of political rhetoric posted online? Again, you never know how an outsider will view the comments and posts that you and your friends find humorous. When looking for a new position, always check out your social media to get a feel for how a potential employer might view you.
A Poorly Written Resume
Are there mistakes on your resume? Typos? Does it look like you threw it together at the last minute? Employers want to see a well-polished document that is easy to read and follow. They like chronological resumes that show what you’ve done for at least the last ten years. Prospective employers don’t have time to figure out your work history and qualifications, and they won’t. They will simply move on to the next candidate’s resume, and you will never get that phone call. If you can’t create an impressive resume on your own, consider hiring Resume-Evolution to help you write your resume. If it helps you get a job, it will be well worth it.
Resumes That Lack Details
Employers want to see detailed information on your resume. They want to know what you did, when you did it and where. So, make sure you incorporate dates, company name and your job title along with numbers and metrics so they understand the scope of what you do and the level at which you operate. Think about the number of people you oversee, the amount of the budget you control, the number of clients in your portfolio and any other aspects of your job that can be quantified. It makes your background more tangible and spells out your skills in more detail.
A Resume That’s Too Long
Is your resume too long? Unless you’ve been in the workforce for many years, your resume should be no more than 2 pages. You want to include your most recent and impressive work history and accomplishments. Employers simply don’t have time to spend sifting through three, four or five pages of your resume when they have so many prospective candidates. Make it easy for them by making your resume concise and powerful. Don’t include a lot of unnecessary filler on your resume. That’s a big turn-off for employers.
A Resume That’s Too Short
Clearly, when you just get out of school, you aren’t going to have a lot to fill up your resume. However, you don’t want to send out a resume that only covers half a page. Make sure to include your education, any jobs you’ve held including part-time work, and even include volunteer experience. You can also add a skills section where you list computer programs you’ve worked with or any other special abilities or certification you possess. Even if you lack real work experience, you need to show the employer that you are a capable employee.
Landing a new job or promotion is not a matter of luck. You can stack the cards in your favor by making sure your social media presence is acceptable, and that your resume is polished. Don’t make your resume too long, and create as solid a job history as possible. Hire someone to help you if you need assistance.
For further reading on this subject, check out Resume Tough Love: 6 Reasons Why Your Resume Gets Trashed!