By Stuti Govil
Recruiters say job applicants repeatedly make mistakes that can easily be avoided by paying attention to detail, and using common sense.
Here are some common mistakes that can lead to your resume’s rejection:
Factual Errors: One would think it’s a no-brainer that a resume should not include any mistakes about the applicant’s education, experience and other details. Think again.
Earlier this year, Yahoo’s then-chief executive Scott Thompson said that he made an “inadvertent error” in previously stating that he had a degree in computer science. Mr. Thompson resigned in May.
Most companies nowadays run a background and reference check and if they find any inaccuracy, “it becomes a problem,” says Uday Sodhi, chief executive of job-search portal HeadHonchos.com.
Often, the mistakes are silly, such as an anomaly in the applicant’s previous employment dates. An error like this can make the recruiter discount your entire resume.
Or the applicant may misspell his or her contact email address, which could mean that he or she doesn’t get a response from the company.
The bottomline: Cross-check everything you include in the resume. Go back to your employment certificates if needed.
Do not lie, as that could seriously damage your long-term career prospects.
Too Long: You may have a long list of skills and laurels and you might want to list all of them in a multiple-page resume. Big mistake.
“Remember that recruiters typically only have 20 to 30 seconds to spare for one resume,” says Avisek Agarwal, head of corporate strategy at headhunting firm Executive Access (India) Pvt.
“If they don’t see what they like in that time, the resume gets trashed,” he adds.
Ideally, your resume should be two pages long, but one page is even better, say recruiters.
Irrelevant Stuff: One reason for long resumes is TMI: too much information.
If you have many years of experience, you don’t have to mention every educational institute you’ve been to, and every teeny job you’ve done. This can be very irritating for recruiters.
Stick with only your most recent or most impressive work experience. Mention it in the top half of the resume. Instead of using inane details to describe your work profile, impress with statistics.
“Mention, in numbers, the laurels you achieved during the tenure,” says Mr. Sodhi of HeadHonchos.com. For instance, instead of simply stating that you were the head of sales, say that “Sales increased by XX% while I was head of sales.”
Poor Presentation: Even in resumes, looks matter.
Too few people pay any attention to the actual presentation of the resume, resulting in resumes that are unpleasant to look at.
For instance, fancy fonts like Comic Sans and Lucidia Calligraphy are not clear to read. Instead, use simple fonts like Arial or Times New Roman, between 10- and 14-point size. Avoid using bold font, or capital letters and exclamations as these are jarring.
Also, it is hard to take seriously a resume that contains spelling and grammatical mistakes. Long and complex sentences can also put off recruiters.
Proofread your resume thoroughly. Even better, ask a friend to go over it critically and point out any errors.
Online Profiles: In this day and age, your resume is not the only way you make a first impression on recruiters. They also often look up your online profiles, on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, to see if you are worth calling in.
“Your LinkedIn profile should be very similar to the resume,” says Ms. Humsa Dhir, head of corporate communications at Akzo Nobel India Ltd.
Also, it’s key that your online profiles and other information that can be accessed publicly are professional and impressive.
“Funky, fancy and informal email addresses may be a great conversation-starter while social networking, but are not great on your professional profile,” says Sudhanshu Pandit, head of human resources at Symantec India Pvt.
To view article go to: http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/07/19/career-journal-why-resumes-get-rejected/
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