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The modern job market is extremely competitive, and recruiters will sometimes look at resumes for only a matter of seconds before moving on to the next one on the pile. If your resume has even one glaring mistake, recruiters will be sure to disregard it. One of the most serious blunders is bad formatting, such as large blocks of text or cramped spacing. The truth is that recruiters may not even bother reading a poorly formatted resume simply because it takes too much effort to interpret. Make sure that the format you choose makes it easy for readers to find important information.
Another serious mistake deals with relevance. When you apply for a position, you need to revise your resume to speak directly to that specific job and tell a convincing story about why you are the best candidate. If you use a generic resume, recruiters may be left scratching their heads as they wonder why you included extraneous information. Even worse is handing over a resume that is obviously tailored for a different position entirely. Before submitting a resume, make sure that all the information on it is pertinent to the skills needed for success in the job.
Recruiters quickly see through jargon. If your resume is heavy on jargon and light on specifics, recruiters have no reason to contact you. Your resume should have some depth and include precise details about what you accomplished and what your responsibilities were. Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments and avoid vague statements. “Responsible for all aspects of customer service” says much less than “handled customer de-escalations and processed customer requests.”
Organization is also important. When your resume appears to be a collection of random facts, you have done a poor job making a convincing argument for why you should be hired. Your resume does need a skills summary section, or something analogous, where you can synthesize information contained in the work experience section. However, you still need to list your previous positions, along with dates, and expound on your responsibilities and accomplishments in those positions. The organization should be logical and linear enough to understand at first glance.