Whether it’s grading an inaugural lunch at a new hotspot or the mental calculus when perform when a date walks through the door, we put a lot of stock in first impressions. When you’re having hundreds of interactions per day, you have no choice. There’s simply too much to do to give everyone time to explain themselves.

Hiring managers operate in much the same way in their day-to-day work. They need to quickly scan applications to weed out the people who aren’t going to work and the spam. And although a resume might not be the first thing they see, it’s definitely the easiest place for them to start making cuts.

Hiring managers’ need to see information conveyed quickly makes the resume the most important part of any application. And any tiny mistake could leave you wondering where your phone call is.

Since sitting around waiting for an interview that never comes is our antithesis — getting people jobs is kind of our thing — we figured we’d point out a few easy-to-fix and common resume mistakes that are costing applicants the gig.

You Aren’t Pitching Yourself

Your resume can tell a hiring manager what you did and still not tell them what you do. Don’t just explain what your duties were at a given position, tell them how you met or surpassed the expectations of your employers. If it’s at all possible, use hard numbers to quantify your specific impact on the workplace. Tell them why they should be impressed.

Resume Tip: Include words that demonstrate leadership for a serious boost in your response rate.


For the love of God, Proofread

When we posted an opening to work here at TalentWorks, nearly 10 percent of the applicants disqualified themselves via simple typos. As our own Kushal Chakrabarti has mentioned, the default position for any hiring manager on any given application is already “no.” Don’t give them any reason to chuck your resume before they’ve finished reading it.

You Made It Hard For People (and Bots) to Read

Many hiring managers are using resume-parsing software to narrow down the applications they review before they even have to look at them. To that end, you need to make sure your resume is saved in a machine-parseable format. Keep the resume simple and clean so that even after it gets past the bots, the hiring manager can easily scan it and see what you’re all about. Colorful fonts, odd tables and other quirks need not apply.

You Aren’t Tailoring Your Resume

One more thing about those bots: they’re frequently looking for keywords that the hiring manager has set and tossing those that don’t have any. In our job search, a keyword-parsing tool eliminated 77% of applicants simply because their applications did not match with the keywords that we were seeking.

Resume Tip: Add 15-20 specific skills and industry buzzwords to your resume

Admittedly, this can all be a little tough. It can be hard to proofread your own work for errors or to know which keywords hiring managers are looking for. Luckily, there’s us!

For just $10/month, we offer access to our ResumeOptimizer tool. It uses our expert knowledge of the hiring process and millions upon millions of data points to make sure that your application is the sleekest and most noteworthy application it can possibly be. We’ll then take that buffed resume and send it in for you automatically to positions matching your skill set using our ApplicationAssistant.

If that’s not enough, we also offer TalentAdvocates to walk you through the process and ensure that you’re on the path toward the job you want. Take a look at our services here and happy hunting!

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