Words That Turn Hiring Managers Off (And Words They Love)
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone describe themselves as a team player on their resume. I can say it’s way too many.
However, descriptors like team-player and out-of-the-box thinker make hiring managers cringe according to a 2021 CareerBuilder survey* of hiring managers and human resources pros.
How Recruiters Review Your Resume (It’s Not How You Think)
Just as resumes that don’t generate results have the same problems, resumes that resonate with recruiters and employers share commonalities. Effective resumes immediately grab the reader’s attention. They demonstrate what sets that candidate apart from the competition.
Many people think that recruiters begin by reading a resume from top to bottom.
However, the results of a 2012 Ladders study proved that in most cases, they don’t.
The Ladders had recruiters review resumes while wearing eye-scanning goggles. The main talking point, or buzz, from that study, was that recruiters spent less than 6 seconds reviewing each resume before deciding if they would interview the candidate or not.
The Biggest Executive Resume Mistake You Don’t Realize You’re Making
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles on executive resume do’s and don’ts.
Make sure there are no misspelled words or typos, Take out the Objective Statement. Put in a Summary Statement. Don’t forget to include complete contact information.
I’ve probably written over a dozen myself.
However, there is one executive resume mistake that many job seekers make without realizing. It’s an error that can raise questions with a potential employer. I don’t see many posts about this, although it’s one of the easiest errors to avoid.
The mistake is inconsistency.
Your first introduction to 99% of recruiters and potential employers is either your resume or LinkedIn profile. If a recruiter sourcing you LinkedIn likes what he or she sees they will contact you and ask for your resume. If you send in a resume, an interested recruiter or potential employer will check out your LinkedIn profile.
How To Make Sure Your Resume Is ATS Friendly
Applicant tracking software systems or ATS systems electronically handle many recruitment and hiring needs. One applicant tracking system function is parsing each job application and resume looking for relevant keywords, skills, years of experience, former employers, job titles, colleges and universities, etc., based on employer criteria and store that information in a database.
To employers, who often get hundreds of applications for every position advertised on a job board, applicant tracking software is a boon. On the other hand, many job seekers refer to them as the “black hole.”
When I was working as a recruiter, at least 80% of the job seekers who responded to my job posting weren’t remotely qualified for the job. So before blaming the black hole, make sure you are a qualified candidate: your work experience matches most of the job opening’s requirements. Not necessarily all, but most.
It’s also essential to ensure that your resume is ATS-friendly.
Following are some of the most often asked questions about applicant tracking software systems. The answers won’t help you get contacted if you’re not a qualified candidate. They will help you create an ATS friendly resume.
Most Popular “How To” Executive Resume Writing Questions
Crafting a compelling executive resume that gets results isn’t easy. Many executives and professionals turn to an executive resume writing service. They spend time researching who is the best executive resume writer.
Other professionals looking for an executive position decide to tackle executive resume writing themselves. When talking to a professional resume writer, these are some of the “how-to” questions people ask.
12 Often Asked Executive Resume Writing Questions
#1 What do employers look for in a resume?
Employers are looking for people to solve their problems. A hiring manager wants to know what you can do for them.
People in similar positions at similar companies do similar things. What differentiates candidates from one another is the impact they have had on their employer(s).
More specifically, a recruiter or hiring manager wants to see how you saved time, cut costs, improved productivity, generated revenue, etc.
Five Resume Elements That Should Be Forgotten
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “everything old is new again.” But when it comes to resumes, everything old is not new again. It’s just old.
Resumes have changed a lot over the last 15 years. They’ve morphed from boring employment histories to compelling marketing documents designed to sell you — the candidate — to recruiters and employers. While some basic components like professional experience and education remain, there are other elements that make your resume and, by default, you look dated.
1. Objective Statement
Although objective statements have been passé for years, I still see them on resumes. One reason they fell out of fashion is that they were all basically the same. Every candidate was looking for a great company, where they worked with awesome colleagues, and had room to grow. Boring. Worse, objective statements didn’t address what every employer wants to know “WIIFM?” (what’s in it for me?). Scrap the objective statement and replace it with a summary that demonstrates your value.
Top 10 Resume Don’ts
Crafting a resume is just one component of a multi-step, job search process. A successful job search also includes networking, developing a list of target employers, creating a robust LinkedIn profile, salary negotiation, and more.
Still, in many cases, your resume is the catalyst that gets the ball rolling. Without a compelling, results driven resume you may never get invited to a job interview.
There are many articles on how to write a resume that generates calls, I’ve written several myself. What’s not as often addressed is what “not” to do.
So to change things up a bit, here is a list of things to avoid.
Top 10 Resume Don’ts
- Don’t lie. While a resume should be a marketing document, being dishonest is never OK. Even the smallest lies, things that you might consider an exaggeration, can come back to haunt you. For example, stating you have an MBA when you have a MA make take you out of the running. Saying you have a degree when you don’t will almost definitely get you cut.
Resume Bloopers: Bad To Bizarre
During your career your resume is one of your most important marketing tools. It’s often the first time recruiters and hiring managers meet you. While some may overlook a typo or two there are some mistakes that you cannot recover from.
A recent article on “Interview Bloopers” was so popular I decided to follow it up with one on resumes. With this in mind, I asked recruiters and hiring managers to send me some “Resume Bloopers” things that made them stop and say “I can’t believe that he or she put that on a resume!”
These are listed in what I consider bad to worse to bizarre.
Too Much Information
I’m in the construction industry. I’m always surprised to receive a resume with a headshot. To add to the blooper, an individual will often include: Divorced – 2 Adult Children – 1 Dog – Healthy Non-Smoker! This type of resume makes a recruiter cringe. It makes the company even more vulnerable to discrimination claims.
—Submitted by Revee While, Director of Marketing, Primaris
Employment History vs. Modern Executive Resume
If you want to get an employer’s attention, don’t send them an employment history. Send them a results-driven, easy-to-scan executive resume.
While many people think they are one and the same.
The reaction they get from employers isn’t the same either.
Here are a few reasons why.
Old-School Executive Resume (Employment History)
Think A Little White Lie Won’t Matter? Don’t.
Many people embellish the truth a little on their resume. Most common is when candidates “clump” all of the jobs at a single company under their current and, probably, highest position.
A reputable resume writer will warn his or her clients not to do this. However, it happens all the time.
If you’re considering exaggerating on your resume. Don’t.
Getting caught in a little white lie will likely put you out of the running.
The majority of employers said that discovering a lie on a candidate’s resume might derail his or her chances of being hired according to survey conducted by CareerBuilder.