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Recruiters Sound Off: 7 Resume Mistakes Keeping You Unemployed

Our recruiters see hundreds of resumes a week—which means they have strong feelings about what a resume should include. Before you submit your resume for a job at The HT Group, make sure to take a second look at what you’re sending to avoid these mistakes and score points with your recruiter:

1. No attention to detail on dates…

One of the biggest complaints from our recruiters is a logistical one: mismatched dates. Organize your work history chronologically and make sure the start and end dates on your resume are correct and up-to-date—your recruiter will be very confused if your resume says you’re employed and it turns out you haven’t worked at that company in three months. As Claire Reynolds, our Managing Director of Staffing, put it, “It creates concern when you don’t know the time frames you worked somewhere.”

2. …or formatting

We hope by now that we don’t have to include typos on this list (as one recruiter put it, “spell check is your friend”), but details that matter extend beyond the words you write. Make sure bullet points line up, fonts are the same and spacing is consistent throughout your resume, especially if you highlighting “attention to detail” as one of your skills. Speaking of…

3. Long lists of skills

If you must list skills, please keep them specific and demonstrable. While “Excels in a team environment” and “Communicates well with others” are great qualities to have, they should be evident from your work rather than listed out on paper. Our recruiters would prefer a description of how you used your skills in your job duties rather than a list. (Even better? Tell us how you used your skills with examples of accomplishments rather than responsibilities). As Jayson Spaits, Managing Director for our tech team, explains, “Don’t be generic when it comes to skills—we are trying to tell a story, not give the CliffsNotes.”

4. Adding a selfie

Please, NO PICTURES on your resume! Save that professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile.

5. TMI

While we certainly care about your hobbies, they don’t have any place on your resume. Other information to leave off: your date of birth, SSN, or marital status—all of this leaves you vulnerable if your resume ends up in the wrong hands. We also generally discourage lots of graphics (even if you are a graphic designer, these likely belong on a portfolio site).

Still under the heading of TMI, consider this our formal request to do an audit of the suitability of your email address for professional purposes. Hint: It should not include the numbers 666, 69 or 420.

6. One page or bust

Our recruiters would like to reassure you that having a one-page resume is not the end-all, be-all of hiring decisions. While you should definitely be concise and organized (bullet points are your friend, but you do not need seven of them), if your experience warrants another page, you have our permission to add it.

7. And don’t forget the most important part…

So you have streamlined your resume to include your experience highlighted with accomplishments in well-organized sections, triple-checked the details and formatting, and don’t have any information that shouldn’t be on there. However, make sure you do include your contact information! You’d be surprised how often we get resumes without a valid email or phone number. Claire Reynolds, Managing Director of Staffing, also added, “Make sure the phone is active, your voicemail is set up and you are checking your email.” We obviously can’t offer you a position if we can’t get in touch with you.


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