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Guide to making your resume: 10 things recruiters don’t want to see

Paula Delos ReyesContributorSeptember 28, 2020

#ResumeTips #ResumeWriting #CurriculumVitae #CandidateGuide #JobHuntingTips #ResumeWritingGuide #Resume101

Making a resume: A guide to what to leave off your CV, which details to highlight, and avoiding the things that irk recruiters

Six seconds.

On average, recruiters spend six seconds--ten, at best--looking at your resume. While you have put thought and effort in making resume, you only have that window to convince companies that you have what it takes to work with them. Likewise, it only takes six seconds to make them decide whether or not they need to keep looking for someone who will qualify better for the role you applied to. The question is, would you really want that?

To help you in making the right resume, we have rounded up 10 things that recruiters don't like seeing in your CV.

10 things in your resume that recruiters can do without

1. Unless you recently graduated Senior High, your high school graduation

Not that it's not important that you graduated from high school, but this arbitrary information only makes your CV cluttered. It will also look like a filler for the experiences you don't have yet. Skip this part unless you recently graduated from Senior High and are applying to a job right after earning your diploma.

You’re also excused from this rule if you don’t have job experience yet. If this is the case, feel free to include any accomplishments you’ve had in high school. Keep it short and concise.

2. Tasks instead of accomplishments

If you write that you "developed, tested, and implemented programs for XXX company," what would it mean for the recruiter? A better way to write your work experience on your resume is to highlight your accomplishments. Instead of making a list of your tasks, you can share instead what you accomplished when doing those tasks. This way, you can capture the attention of the recruiter with results. Try to be as specific as you can, and use numbers wherever you can.

  • Implemented Supply Chain solutions which helped the company save 35% of their budget spend.
  • Leveraged analytics to study consumer behavior; increasing the market share of XXX company by 290% in six months.
  • Developed a new practicum which saves instructors at least 20 hours weekly.

3. Chunky, chunky texts

Your resume is not an entry to an essay writing contest. Learn how to use bullet points and make your CV a lot cleaner. It's easier to capture the attention of hirers when you use clean, short sentences instead of clumping everything into one lengthy paragraph. Remember, six seconds is all it takes!

4. Or no texts at all

Too little detail can also be a cause for concern, especially if you're an experienced professional or have been working for some time now. Why would there be no information on your resume when you have at least five years of experience? When making a resume, make sure you include your professional history so you can demonstrate that you have what it takes to succeed in the role you are applying for.

5. Unexplained career gaps

Career breaks are ok, especially if they are reasonable. Some of the common reasons for career gaps are going back to school, getting medical treatment, and attending to private matters. For any reason you might have, just make sure you explain it properly during your interview. If you make it that far, that means you had something in your resume that your recruiter or hiring manager couldn’t pass up (so congrats!).

6. Your proficiency in MS applications

Even grade school kids can use applications more advanced than MS Word and Powerpoint. This is your chance to highlight real skills, such as your SEO proficiency, video animation skills, and the different languages you speak. Make this as tailored as you can to the role you are applying for.

7. Ambiguity, jargon, and highfalutin words

Keep in mind that different people from the hiring committee will check for different information on your CV. And while your future boss might possibly get what you mean when you say ESG investing, the HR manager might not. Keep your language and tone as universal as possible. And if you think employers will be impressed by your industry jargon and big words, you should rethink your writing skills. On the contrary, highfalutin words leave most recruiters and hiring managers cold and unimpressed.

8. Inconsistency

If you're telling the truth, no matter how many versions you write, it will still be the same story.

Does your resume match with your online profile in Xcruit or other job portals? Or maybe even LinkedIn? If you were working as the same XXX position from this date to that, and yet you also wrote you were promoted somewhere around that time, then it might be a concern. Even if it was an honest mistake, it still means you did not pay attention to your CV. Proofread your resume before sending out, so you can see the details are complete and factual. Do not forget recruiters check out your social media and job portal profiles, so it’s crucial to keep everything aligned.

9. Comic Sans

… or any font that looks juvenile, long-hand or all caps. Choose professional-looking font types and sizes and use it consistently throughout. For instance, if you'll use Sans Serif pt 12 for your lists and Sans Serif pt Century Gothic 14 for your headers, then keep it that way throughout. Highlight, italicize, or underline only what you need, to avoid making it look unprofessional. You can also opt to use Canva for making a resume that stands out. You'll get the liberty to use various formats in creating a CV that looks put together.

10. Lengthy resumes

Six seconds cannot scan lengthy resumes completely. Avoid multi-pager CVs at all costs by concentrating on what's truly important in your career. As a rule, only experienced job seekers are allowed two pages of resume. If you’re a fresh grad or have had only one job to date, you have to make everything fit in one page. Recruiters can be the busiest people around. Help your recruiter block out the noise and focus on what you can bring to the table.

Once you’ve followed these steps, don’t forget to upload your CV to your Xcruit profile. We’ve found that 80% of recruiters still browse the resume you created even after reviewing your Xcruit profile. They want to know how you position and sell yourself in your own words. So go ahead, clean up that CV and upload it on Xcruit.

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Need more helpful job advice in navigating our new normal? Check out our careers blog.