Q: What red flags make you throw out a resume?
It was only a handful of years ago that candidates didn’t need to worry about finding a way around the technology of Applicant Tracking Systems to get noticed. And while the built-in efficiency in this type of software has been game-changing for people in my profession, it has not come without transferring much of the burden from talent managers to job seekers.
Whether it’s investing time on an often-overlooked question on the job application, or going to great lengths to get your LinkedIn profile optimized, one thing is certain: applying for a job that you are serious about landing takes time. So if you don’t want all the time you’ve already invested on the application and your LinkedIn profile to go to waste, heed the following advice. Because if you don’t, your resume will be deleted before those other things are even reviewed.
1. Your resume is not results-focused.
Often times, individuals are so proud of the projects they’ve had the opportunity to work on and the unique work experiences they’ve had in their career that they fail to illustrate the measurable impact of them. If you created an Excel spreadsheet that talks to another spreadsheet and can produce insights for your company in just a few seconds, tell me why those insights are meaningful for the company. I understand that, at times, not all of us are lucky enough to see a project through from start to finish, but I’ll still need to be aware how the work input was instrumental in the desired outcome.
2. You uploaded a .txt file of your resume.
This one bothers me quite a bit. It takes too much work to read that horrifying font that defaults in a .txt document. It takes way too much of my time to work on discerning where a paragraph break is supposed to be or how the dates that aren’t right or left aligned correspond with which position. Even if I did choose to spend the time trying to figure out a linear story of your work history, I do not want to spend even more time asking you for a cleaner file of your resume for the hiring manager.
For the final two red flags that immediately have me moving resumes to the trash, hop on over to Fairygodboss.