Recruiters and Hiring Managers receive hundreds of resumes, sometimes in a single day, for a single position. They are looking for any chance they can of reducing that pile of resumes to review, so if you want to make sure yours goes directly in the “trash” pile instead of the “review” pile, follow these tips.

1. Make sure you don’t tailor your resume for the position advertised. Keep your resume as generic as possible so the recruiter has to connect the dots and figure out for herself how your experience in general business will translate to the role she’s looking to fill.

2. Include an unprofessional email address in your header. “PartyBoots85@yahoo.com” sure sounds like someone fun to dance with on a Saturday night, but maybe not manage the front desk of a financial services firm. And I don’t know about you, but hiring “RUVibinMe” to work as a physical therapist in a nursing home just doesn’t seem like a smart idea.

3. Include your cell phone number on your resume, but forget that your voicemail message on said phone is about three minutes long, and includes both singing, laughing and some sort of “yeahhhhhh baby” phrase. Points added if there is a blaring television in the background.

4. In your objective statement, include the phrase “attentoin to detail.” This shows that your attention to detail does not include using the spell check editor in your word processing software. Extra bonus points for grammar mistakes to (too). Just because your brother looked it over after dinner last night doesn’t mean it is right.

5. Ensure that all your verb tenses are inconsistent, thereby confusing the recruiter as to whether or not you are presently working in the position you are describing or have worked there in the past. Make sure too, to use as many vanilla words as possible in these descriptions, repeating several of the same verbs in each job.

6. Change font sizes and styles throughout the document. This shows that you may know how to use the cut and paste function, but aren’t necessarily skilled in understanding formatting or style. This will also make your hiring manager worry about your ability to create Microsoft Word documents that are clear and easy to read.

7. Use as many clichés as possible. Are you a “highly qualified”, “creative”, “self-starter”? No doubt a “people person” and a “team player” too? Great. Move it to the “save” pile by describing your accomplishments with power words and specific facts and figures. Remember it’s about results, not tasks.

8. Print your resume when your printer is just about out of ink so the recruiter has to guess every other word. It’s especially good if key information such as your phone number or name is hard to read. We know printer ink is expensive, and sometimes it’s just not feasible to buy a new cartridge at the moment. Use your local library or copy shop if needed.

9. Make sure to only send in a resume. Especially if a cover letter was requested in the original job posting. If you wouldn’t even do the minimum required to try to get the job, what makes a hiring manager think you’re going to go “above and beyond” once hired? This is no way to knock their socks off!

Updated: 04/04/2017
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Erika is a career development professional with over 15 years of experience in both corporate and higher education settings. Her current role is Assistant Director of Career Education at a private university in Chicago, Illinois. She also works with individuals on strengths discovery, interviewing skills and networking. She can be reached at careerplayground (at) gmail.com

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