This week, LiveCareer reached out to a diverse group of hiring managers and asked each of them to answer a simple question: “What are your biggest resume pet peeves? In other words, what are some of the resume problems that won’t remove a candidate from the running immediately, but still increase the hurdles he’ll have to overcome to impress you?” Here are some of the answers we received.
“I don’t like when candidates introduce the resume with a detailed description of what they’re looking for. Telling me you need a job with room for advancement, a fast pace, a high salary, an opportunity to meet new people every day, etc, etc, won’t win me over. I’m glad you’re decisive and you know what you like, but the job is the job. I won’t be altering the nature of the position to accommodate you, and I’m looking for someone who can adapt to the company, the team, and the requirements of this job as they are.”
Raj, Food Service
“I don’t like resumes that end halfway down the page. If you’ve listed every job in your work history and the list isn’t very long, you don’t have to stop there. Fill in the available space with more detail that I can use to make my decision. A half-blank page makes me think you either aren’t trying to impress me, or you literally have nothing more to say.”
“I don’t know why some candidates insist on using 27 different typefaces and font sizes in a one page resume. Be consistent with your headings, and be clear with which information falls under which heading. You can list positions by job title, by employer, or by year, but whatever you use for primary subheadings, maintain that pattern—and that font style—throughout the document.”
Angel, Web Development
“I don’t like when candidates use specific jargon that I’ve heard too many times. Some of my red flag words are things like “systematize,” “cross-domain,” “paradigm,” “dogfooding,” “ping-back,” and “synergy.” I don’t even like hearing these in casual conversation, and on a resume, they really annoy me.”
Robert, Business Administration
“My biggest resume pet peeve isn’t so much about the resume document, but more about how it reaches me. I like when candidates simply make the transfer happen. Send it by mail, email, or as a Word document, but don’t keep telling me about all the difficulties you’re having with the sending process. I especially don’t like when candidates try to convince me that my technology is at fault or is somehow outdated, and that’s what’s causing the problem.”
A Short Job Search Starts with a Strong Resume
If you’re a job seeker, keep these considerations in mind, and visit LiveCareer for a resume builder that can help you format your application according to accepted professional standards. And if you’re a hiring manager, send us a message and let us know if you’d like to be included in future surveys. We’re always looking for ways to expand and diversify our manager survey sample size. And if you have an opinion on what makes a great candidate, we’d love to hear from you!