Resume killers wipe out all efforts in applying for jobs in no time. Instead of an invitation to an interview, they are rejected. The problem: If you do not recognize and remove the resume killer in your documents, you keep making the same mistakes. Whether this happens out of ignorance makes no difference to the result, and HR managers show little consideration. If you want to have a real chance of being accepted, there is no place for resume killer in your application. We offer which resume killers you should know and remove immediately.
This is why resume killers are so dangerous.
Mistakes are human and happen – they are still an exclusion criterion for applications. If you fail here, you quickly lose any chance of an invitation to a personal conversation and thus to the job you are looking for. Resume killers are the worst mistakes you can make in your vita. The reason is that HR managers have little time to sift through and assess many application documents. There are no more than a few minutes, sometimes only a few seconds, for an initial assessment and decision. Means: Who with this first impression with a resume detects killers are sorted out immediately. Also, there are other reasons for the negative impact of resume killers:
Resume killers show a lack of care.
Some of the most common resume killers clearly show that you did not prepare and write your records with the necessary care. The signal to companies: Even when it comes to important tasks, this candidate is prone to mistakes—a NoGo for every personnel decision.
Resume killers demonstrate ignorance.
“I didn’t know any better” is no explanation for a resume killer. It is well known that ignorance does not protect against punishment. In the case of mistakes in the clean resume, you are more likely to demonstrate that you did not inform yourself.
In the end, it does not matter which of the two points applies. In any case, resume killers will result in your application ending up on file for trash.
The most common resume killers
Unfortunately, resume killers can still be found in the documents of applicants. If the resume killers are not recognized and removed, the application will not be successful. Instead, the frustration grows because repeated rejections are received. To prevent this from happening to you, here are the most common resume killers that you should remove and correct:
Mistakes briefly inattentive or mistyped when writing your elegant resume – spelling mistakes happen quickly. Even so, you are one of the most common resume killers. If an HR manager skims the vita and stumbles across several spelling or grammatical errors, he will most likely save himself a more detailed reading. Proofread your records several times and ask others to check for errors to avoid this resume killer.
Lies and false information
You want to convince and score with the best arguments, but false information and outright lies are an absolute resume killer. As soon as information or points are incorrect, the application chances drop to zero. If you invent qualifications, experience, positions, and other information or embellish them far from reality, you will either get a rejection immediately or be terminated later.
A complete, long resume always looks better? Not correct! Unimportant information is a resume killer. HR professionals want to know what makes you the best person for the position and what you bring to contribute to the company’s success. Irrelevant information only inflates the application unnecessarily but does not provide any added value. Focus on information that is important to the employer. This is especially true when choosing professional positions.Work experience is good but needs to be relevant to the position you are applying for.
Out of date information
The same applies to items in your functional resume in tabular form that was so long ago that nobody is interested. HR professionals don’t care which elementary school you attended. The decisive factors are the experiences and achievements that you have made in recent years. That you started school 25 years ago doesn’t qualify you for the job and is a resume killer. The grade point average also loses relevance with the years of professional activity. This is important shortly after graduation; it no longer needs to be stated in later professional life.
Name and contact details belong in the document, of course, so that your application can be assigned – and to be accessible. However, it would help if you refrained from further personal details. Information on marital status or religion has long been outdated and belongs to the resume killers. Such personal data is usually not used so that it does not lead to discrimination.
Social media profiles
Almost everyone has them, but they only have to look for something in their application in exceptional cases: Social media profiles (Facebook or Instagram) only make sense if used professionally. If there are samples of work there (for example, from photographers), they are indicated. Otherwise, they are resume killers. Only professional networks such as LinkedIn do not count as resume killers if the profiles are well maintained and up-to-date.
Longer gaps that aren’t explained are a giant resume killer. For HR managers, such open periods allow only two conclusions: Either you did nothing during this time – not reasonable – or you want to conceal something – even worse.
The resume should give a short and quick overview of the essential information. There is no space here for long text and epic sentences. The motto is: fast and to the point. Everything else is a resume killer. HR managers want to get all information at a glance instead of reading and searching for a long time.
Lists Bullet points are an excellent way to avoid long blocks of text. However, these should also be used sparingly. Bullet lists emphasize essential aspects; they are not a stylistic device to divide the text.
If you want to attract attention with your choice of font, you tend to do it negatively. Too much experimentation is not appropriate here. It is essential that the font is easy to read, looks severe, and is not outdated. You should also use the same font throughout your application.
Reasons for changing jobs
A resume is about you, your experience, qualifications, and the benefits you will bring to the new company. Your motivation for a change and why you are applying to this employer belongs in the cover letter or an individual letter of motivation. It’s a resume killer if you mess up your application documents’ contents and mix them up wildly.
Money is always an issue in your job, and of course, you want to earn more in your new job than at your old place of work. Even so, salary claims are a resume killer. If this is required in the job advertisement, you can state your salary expectations in the application letter. If not, the financial aspect will only be discussed and negotiated in a later personal conversation.
Unfortunately, a common resume killer is a missing structure. Confusing design, no clear structure, and HR staff have to search for information instead of quickly overview. The problem also arises when the resume becomes cluttered because every minor aspect of the professional career needs to be mentioned.