Why your resume will get thrown away

We've been on the hunt for new recruiters at our firm, and in the past few weeks I have gotten nothing but a slew of terrible resumes. I cannot bring myself to hire a recruiter who doesn't understand the basics like how to write an eye-catching resume.  At this point I'd almost settle for a mediocre resume that isn't so horrible it makes me wish I'd never opened it. Chances are, your resume is getting a two-second glance before that person deletes it or archives it to the "we'll keep your resume on file" status. Here is why your resume still looks like a pile of garbage to the poor hiring manager or headhunter.

  1. It's unbearably long and detailed. Your resume should generally fit on one page.  No one wants a minute by minute detail of what you do every day.  Include your education, employer, title, and your job description.  The job description should be basic - how would you explain what you do in 1 or 2 sentences to someone from Mars who has never heard of a natural language processor? Call up your grandma or someone who will have no grasp of what you actually do and test this out by seeing if they can figure out from your two sentences what your job entails.
  2. You revealed you're close to retirement. Don't put your graduation date and don't put your job you had in the eighties at McDonald's. Include your last job or two and leave it at that. No one will admit it to you, but if you're over forty-five you're going to be filtered out at the beginning by a lot of companies.  Make the company love you before they realize you're not a spring chicken.
  3. You tried to be Elle Woods.  Stick to a white background, black ink, and leave out the sparkles.  Seriously, do not use a weird font or try to be cute. Whatever you do, do not include a picture of yourself. Unless you are applying for some sort of design job, stick to the facts or else you will look unprofessional.
  4. Your facts don't add up. I was about to call a guy for an interview when I realized his LinkedIn job history didn't match his resume. It looked like he was unemployed but trying to cover it up.  The thing is, if he was unemployed it wouldn't have mattered to me, in fact it would have been an asset because he's a veteran and there's a tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans.  But, because he lied or sent me a really old resume, I couldn't hire him. 

If you're still feeling lost, contact Zach@stratussearch.com for help with your resume. You can also fill out the form below and let us know if you need resume help, or if you are looking for a career opportunity.

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