With 20% of hiring managers saying that they’ll reject a resume they don’t like before they even finish reading it, you already have an uphill battle on your hands to get hired.
The hill only gets steeper if you make a simple mistake that causes a headhunter to shake their head as they send the resume flying toward the trashcan.
What is that mistake?
Discover the answer, as well as the steps a professional resume development services for career advancement will take to help you avoid this painful blunder.
The Biggest Reason Headhunters Hate Your Resume Is…
Spelling and grammatical errors.
In 2018, CareerBuilder conducted a poll in which they asked hiring managers to identify the seven biggest deal breakers that cause them to discard a resume.
Typos and bad grammar won by a landslide.
A staggering 77% of headhunters say that seeing a resume that’s littered with spelling mistakes will cause them to dismiss the candidate out of hand. The reason why isn’t expanded upon, though grammatical issues in a one or two-page resume are likely a sign that the candidate doesn’t pay much attention to the little details. After all, a resume isn’t a long document. Hiring managers probably think that a good candidate would take a couple of passes over their writing to ensure it’s of a high enough quality before sending the resume out.
What’s even more interesting is just how far spelling issues rank above the other six problems the headhunters highlighted.
For instance, the next biggest bugbear for hiring managers was an unprofessional email address, with 35% saying that was a dealbreaker. That’s less than half of those who pointed to bad spelling and grammar. The dealbreakers decline from there. About a third (34%) said that a lack of quantifiable results is a dealbreaker, with just 10% saying they’ll discard the document if it doesn’t have a cover letter.
So, the message is simple:
If you want to ensure your resume gets read to its conclusion, you need to shore up its spelling and grammar.
The Rules for Great Grammar and Spelling on Your Resume
Now that you understand just how important spelling and grammar are to headhunters, your task is to ensure your resume is free of mistakes. To make sure that happens, follow this compilation of quick and easy rules to create an error-free document.
Rule 1 – Always Run the Essay Through a Spellchecker
This seems like the most obvious tip in the world.
Microsoft Word has spellchecking and editing tools built in – which you can use for free – and tools like Grammarly exist to give your resume a once over. Yet, it’s a rule many jobhunters don’t follow, given that 64% of resumes contain at least one spelling mistake.
So, run your resume through a spellchecker when you’ve finished writing. It takes less than five minutes and will catch any obvious errors.
Rule 2 – Get a Second (And Third, Fourth, and Fifth) Pair of Eyes
Fatigue can be a factor when you’re proofing your resume.
If you’ve spent hours working on the document, poring over every fine detail to look for mistakes may be the last thing you want to do. So, you give the resume a quick scan and call it a day, missing a mistake that will stand out to other people in the process.
The solution is simple:
Get other people involved.
Seek out resume advice with family members and friends – especially any who work in a career development or human resource field – to read your resume. Ask them to look for specific mistakes rather than offering a generalized advice, as this will focus their attention on the thing you need to catch.
Or better yet, invest money by hiring a resume consulting & career agency near you to evaluate your resume; some even do a free resume analysis.
Rule 3 – Get Rid of Personal Pronouns
Your resume is all about you.
That means you don’t need to use personal pronouns – such as “I” or “me” – in your writing because the reader already knows that you’re discussing your own history and accomplishments. For instance, rather than saying, “I managed a team of 10 people, and my efforts led to a productivity boost of 15%,” say, “Managed a team of 10, improving productivity by 15%.”
It’s more concise – making it easier to read – and cuts out the grammatical fluff that a headhunter doesn’t need to see in your resume.
Rule 4 – Manage Your Tenses
“Managed a team of 10 as we work toward improving customer service throughout the company.”
Did you spot the grammatical mistake in that statement?
The use of “managed” at the beginning implies the past tense, only for “work” to switch the sentence into the present tense. It should be “worked” to match the tense established at the beginning of the statement.
Therein lies a common grammatical issue in resumes – switching tenses mid-sentence.
As a rule, stick to the present tense when speaking about any role you currently have, with the past tense applying to your previous roles and education. The only exception here is when speaking about past accomplishments within your current role. Even then, make sure your references to past accomplishments are in the correct tense.
Rule 5 – Avoid Long-Winded Sentences
The average headhunter spends about seven seconds reading your resume.
Grammatically, they’re looking for every sentence to be concise. So, your long-winded paragraphs featuring sentences that regularly run over 30 words aren’t going to appeal to them. The sentence itself may not be grammatically incorrect. But in the context of your resume, it’s an eye sore that makes the document tough to read – not ideal when you only have seven seconds to make an impression.
So, conciseness is your friend.
Read every sentence you write aloud. If you find yourself having to take pauses or that you get lost while reading, the sentence is a candidate for shortening.
Avoid the Resume Mistake That Headhunters Hate
Nobody is perfect.
Spelling and grammatical errors can make their way into your resume even if you’ve spent hours poring over the document.
That’s why you need a helping hand from the largest professional resume-writing service in Denver Colorado. Expert Resume Pros has a team of 34 writers – ensuring plenty of eyes are cast over your resume before it’s sent back to you – and a 45-day guarantee. If you don’t get an interview in 45 days, you get your money back.