Alright, it’s time. You’ve researched the company, completed the application, and started to practice interview questions. So why aren’t you receiving the responses that you expected? We’ll tell you why. You probably didn’t double and triple check your content before you sent it off to be judged by the ATS (application tracking system). Please, do yourself a favor, make sure you’re proof-reading your resume before you distribute it so you don’t make these crucial job-seeking mistakes.
Typos and spelling mistakes
Arguably, the easiest and most common mistake that you could potentially be making are typo errors. Finely comb through your resumes content and make sure everything makes sense. Even read it out loud. Do not send any resume out that has content like “Helpd create a social media marketing campaign for 5 websites, resulting in a 20% increase CTR.” We recommend using software like Grammarly to help out while writing your resume. If you don’t want to download a plugin, the least you can do is use the spell check tool that is built into Microsoft Word.
Randomly ordered work experience
Make sure that your experience section is listed in chronological order. This helps the recruiter or hiring manager understand your accomplishments in a clear, concise, and easy to read manner. Ordering them in chronological order displays the information that is most recent, and more than likely, most relevant. Hiring managers are very busy, so make it simple for them to find the information they’re looking for otherwise, it may get sent straight to the trash .
The rule of thumb here is that if your GPA is above “3.0,” it’s a good idea to include it on your resume. Most ATS systems are parsing resumes for a “GPA” keyword, so if your resume doesn’t include it, your chances of being chosen could be lessened.
You shouldn’t put a skills section before your work experience, unless you are looking for a freelance or extremely technical role. When a hiring manager is looking at your resume, they’re expecting the content at the top to be the most significant. Opt to put the section that is the most relevant to the job first because that’s what they are really looking for. If you are currently a student, you should put your education first, work experience second, followed by skills, campus involvement, and volunteer experience in that order.
As a student, your resume should never be any longer than one page. Everything that a recruiter or hiring manager needs to make the decision about calling you in for an interview is within the first half of a resume. Everything else is just icing on the cake. In most cases, the ATS system will immediately kick out resumes longer than one page.
Abundance of white space
We’ve seen this over and over with student resumes. Listen, even if you only worked one job in your lifetime or none at all, find interesting things you’ve done to expand upon. It’s possible to have a complete resume using only activities, skills and volunteer work. Don’t leave precious space at the bottom blank. It makes you look unqualified and inexperienced, like you don’t have much of a story to tell. If you need help filling that space, we can help.
Lack of numbers
Finally, the most important metric to take away. We’re going to give it to you straight. You need numbers on your resume, and a lot of them. You are drastically decreasing your chances of being selected if you aren’t using numbers to quantify your accomplishments. It’s important for the recruiter to be able to frame and understand any impact you’ve had. Quantifying your efforts and results easily displays your capabilities and increases your chances of being selected.
Now, go show that hiring manager just how impactful you can be!