Posted March 6, 2022 by Mark Perna
Research has found that a majority of job-seekers have one or more errors on their resumes. Make sure you’re not one of them. Mark’s article, “Can’t Land Your Dream Job? Your Resume May Be Sabotaging Your Chances,” published at Forbes.com on February 28, 2022.
You’ve applied for dozens of positions—researching the company, customizing your cover letter for the open position and uploading your resume to their system. And then, you wait for the follow-up that never seems to come.
What are you doing wrong?
It may be the most elementary error that is sending your application to the circular file. And it’s one you can easily fix.
According to new research from Adzuna, it seems a majority of job-seekers aren’t taking their resumes seriously. Adzuna’s analysis of 92,989 resumes found that an estimated 64% of resumes in the U.S. contain at least one spelling mistake.
Perhaps more pointedly, the survey revealed that more than 10% of resumes contain five or more errors—including gaps in employment history, lack of personal summary and using an inappropriate file name that might include something like “draft” or “untitled.”
While a typo might not seem like a deal-breaker, more and more employers are relying on software and artificial intelligence tools to screen candidates. One little misspelling might make all the difference in whether or not you get that shot at your dream job.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important it still is to have a well-organized and precise resume,” says Lily Valentin, Head of North America Operations for Adzuna. “Spelling mistakes, inconsistent work histories and missing information are all red flags for potential employers, telling them that you did not take the application process seriously and aren’t fully committed to learning about the open role.
“Even amid the Great Resignation, candidates need to put their best foot forward with hiring managers to be competitive and land a lucrative role.”
When it comes to your resume, details matter. And this includes not just what’s in the resume, but how the resume file is titled. An ideal resume should have a filename that includes the applicant’s surname and the word “resume.” For example: “John Smith Resume.” Doing so will help a recruiter or hiring manager locate the document quickly and easily.
Your file format is also important. Some sites support PDF files, while others request that all files be Word documents. “A resume should be saved in the format indicated by the site to ensure that it is not distorted in any way by resume-reading software that HR teams and recruiters use,” says Valentin.
Another common error uncovered in the analysis was that roughly 30% of resumes contained unexplained gaps of two months or more, which might raise red flags with recruiters and employers.
“If a job seeker has a gap of more than a month on their resume,” says Valentin, “they should provide context for the reason behind it to help their potential or future employer better understand their situation.”
While putting together a top-notch resume—especially for the first time—can take a lot of effort, it remains a crucial part of the job-seeking process. Your resume should include enough information to give a complete picture of your work history and strengths, but it should also be clear and concise.
That means it’s worth taking the time to get it right—and maybe even asking for help, even if it’s just having a friend proofread your resume for obvious mistakes.
After all, isn’t the opportunity to land your dream job worth taking a bit of extra time to ensure your resume is perfect? While so much has changed about how and where we work, the need for an effective resume remains the same.
Here are the most common resume red flags Adzuna uncovered, ranked in order of how frequently they occur. If you’re having trouble getting an interview, take a second look at your resume to make sure none of these errors has crept in to sabotage your chances.
Whether you’re applying online or in person, your resume remains the first impression your new potential employer has of you. Take the time to make it perfect—and best of luck in wherever your job search takes you!