Resume Red Flags: Change Them ASAP!

 In Job Search Tips and Tricks

You find a job posting that sounds perfect for you. Of course, you’re eager to dash off your resume. Slow down there! Before your resume lands on the hiring manager’s desk, make sure it doesn’t contain any of these resume red flags. Remember, your resume doesn’t get you the job, it gets you the interview, so make sure it shows you at your best, so you earn your way to the next step.

Spelling/Grammar Mistakes.

This is one of the biggest pet peeves among recruiters and hiring managers and will get your resume quickly trashed. What’s the big deal?

Your resume is your first chance to make a great impression. It’s essential you look professional. You wouldn’t show up for an interview with clothes that are wrinkled and stained. Careless errors are the resume equivalent. Employers will assume your carelessness and lack of attention to detail will carry over into your work.

How can you avoid spelling and grammar errors?

  • Use spellcheck. This won’t catch everything, but it’s a good start to avoid typos.
  • Come back to it. It’s hard to see your own errors when they are fresh. Ideally let it go overnight before reading again.
  • Ask a friend to check. A second set of eyes can make a big difference. If you don’t have a friend available, try an online grammar checker.

Tough-to-Read Resume

Keep your formatting simple with plenty of white space. You want your resume to be easy to read and formatted so both computers and humans can pull information from them. Include keywords that are used in the job post. Avoid extraneous information such as hobbies or photos.

Employment Gaps and Job-Hopping

One of the first things a recruiter scans for is a clear and consistent work history. If you have a gap, add a quick note about the reason or address it in the cover letter. Using years of employment rather than months is acceptable and can make gaps less obvious until you have a chance to explain further in the interview.

Unprofessional Email Address

If your email address is something like or, do yourself a favor and change it to something more career appropriate such as People really do notice and it’s worth taking the time to change it. There are plenty of free email services out there. It won’t cost you anything to set up a new, professional one.

Generic Resume

We are years past the time when people typed up resumes and had them printed a hundred at a time. When you can change up your resume with just a few mouse clicks, there’s no excuse not to customize your resume to each opportunity. Focus, don’t falsify. You shouldn’t embellish your resume, but should highlight the things that apply to what they are looking for. Also, match your terminology to theirs. For example, if you list “sold pens and pencils for two years” and they are looking for someone who has “two years’ experience selling writing implements,” update your resume to reflect that.

Want to learn more about how to impress employers who are hiring? Contact the experts at Hamilton-Ryker. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

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