Three for Thursday: Resume Red Flags

resume red flags to fixThe resume carries a lot of weight for such a short document. The task of distilling your professional career down to a page or two can be a challenging one. To help, we’ve highlighted three possible red flags your resume may be sending without your knowledge.

Not listing specific successes.

There is no better way to move your resume to the front of the stack than by showing the precise ways in which you impacted your organization. Blew quota out of the water this year? Don’t put consistently exceeded quota – tell them Finished 154% to quota FY2014 or ranked #2 out of 125 sales representatives regionally. A resume that focuses more on inputs than the results produced is always going to be viewed with skepticism.

Listing your college/university when you never graduated.

This one can seem a little counter-intuitive – you could argue that some college is better than none. The problem is that when a hiring manager sees a university on the resume the immediate assumption is that you graduated, so when you tell them you didn’t earn your degree (and contradict what your resume seemed to say!) it will send up an immediate red flag. Beyond this, the hiring manager will surely ask why you didn’t graduate, and while this isn’t bad in itself, it takes away time that could be spent focusing on your relevant experience.

Not making it relevant and scan-able.

This is not so much a red flag, but a major mistake we see all too often. When designing your resume you should be making it as easy as possible for the employer to review the most important and relevant parts of your experience. First, make sure your content is broken down into bullet-points and not in paragraphs for easy scanning. Next, devote more space to the most relevant jobs, giving them more weight on the page. If you have just as many bullet-points for your old college internship as you do for your current position it’s going to muddle the message your resume is supposed to convey.