I often get asked by candidates why they aren’t getting many calls when the market has supposedly picked up. I started reviewing resumes back in 1991 when I was finishing my senior year in high school. My parents owned Management Recruiters of Austin and my mom would bring home literally hundreds of resumes for me to weed through so she’d know who to call the next day. Even though we now have many more avenues to receive resumes some of the key points that compel me to call or not are the same as they were 21 years ago. Keep in mind that a recruiter doesn’t read over every single last bullet point before they pick up the phone. Your resume is probably reviewed for 30 seconds or less before your number is dialed or your resume is bypassed. Here are pitfalls that you can avoid to insure that your resume makes an impact:
1) Avoid sloppiness: Your resume is a reflection of YOU. I don’t call folks who have multiple typos on their resume or have unprofessional looking resumes. It’s so easy to use spell check and it’s extremely simple to find professional resume formats online.
2) Job hoppers: I don’t consider career consultants job hoppers. However, a lot of 1-2 month contracts tend to scare me off and it’s typically a big red flag. Most of my consultants are on project a minimum of 6 months and are often extended. I definitely get scared when I see perm employees moving every year. The grass is not always greener and when people move constantly from one position to another I wonder if they have loyalty issues or if they’ll ever be happy anywhere.
3) No LinkedIn: When I’m about to call someone I quickly look them up on LinkedIn. I love seeing great recommendations and a profile that coincides with a resume. I will not call someone whose employment dates/titles on LinkedIn don’t match their resume. If you are going to have a profile make sure it’s accurate and working for you and not against you.
4) Social Media Suicide: Inappropriate profile pictures are a quick way to get passed by… I’ve fallen in love with resumes and quickly fallen right back out once I pulled up a profile picture that was risqué in nature. You should have your personal page private but remember everyone can see your profile picture.
5) What do you want to be when you grow up? Confusing resumes are just as bad as sloppy ones. If you are now a Java Developer but you were an administrative assistant 5 years ago please remove the administrative positions from your resume unless you still want to receive calls for administrative roles. Those positions are no longer relevant and are often very distracting to hiring managers.
Kristin Lauderback is the Recruiting Director for the Modis Austin, TX office. She’s been with Modis for 8 years and you can connect with her on LinkedIn.