The Wrong Way to Create a Resume

The Wrong Way to Create a Resume

While everyone is focusing on the right way to create a resume, we often ignore the wrong way to create a resume. You are probably asking yourself, “why would I want to know how to create a resume the wrong way?” The answer is simple. As we grow older, we learn from our own mistakes (or at least we like to think we do). We also learn from others’ mistakes so that we do not repeat what others have done to fail. In order to succeed in a super-competitive high-tech job market, we have to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to how our most important marketing piece (resume) is handled by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

This brings us to the conclusion that we must not only look at the right way, but also the wrong way to create a resume to ensure we are not making any basic mistakes. Those mistakes include using templates from resume builder programs that are non-compatible with ATS, adding too much content for job descriptions, stuffing too many skills into the summary, and implementing various outdated strategies that no longer work such as using generic objective statements.

Non-Compatible Templates

The most common mistake we see our clients make is using a template that was generated from some resume builder in the deep dark web. These automated resume builders use pre-built resume templates and cannot be changed by the user based on their specific individual needs. Therefore, you are stuck using the same exact template as everyone else, no matter your situation. This is very limiting because to create an effective resume, your information must be organized in the proper manner to place emphasis on certain key elements of your background over others. Another, more serious concern, is the incompatibility with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Automated resume builders use software to generate their templates, and in order to make them look fancy and appealing to the human eye, they are embedded with special codes and complex data tables which get scrambled in the ATS when they are scanned. We know this for a fact, because we have been in this industry for a very long time and I have personally coded a resume builder of our own several years back (which we ended up not using). 

Below are a couple examples of the correct way to format a resume.

See Types of Resume Formats for the correct way to format a resume.

Too Much Content

We’ve seen it too many times, and still see it to this day. Way too much content for job descriptions. It is understandable, we get it. It’s hard cramming your entire career and everything you want to say about yourself into a succinct nutshell. Wordsmithing is key here, and that is where an expert resume writer can help you to not only condense your content, but make sure you are still sending the same message to the reader (employer) on the other end. Too much content for job descriptions makes your resume extremely painful to read and leaves potential for a lot of redundancies, which can appear as if you have a lack of attention-to-detail. Not good at all.

Too Many Skills

Skills on a resume are important, if not the most important aspect of the document. When your resume is scanned, it will pick up on certain keywords and match them against the keywords in the job announcement you are targeting. This is how you achieve your “Job Match Rate” and “Resume Response Rate” which is extremely important. However, stuffing too many skills into a summary can become an exhaustive and redundant list that will not help increase your resume’s effectiveness, and could actually work against you when a human reviews the document after the scan. If they see a convoluted mess of skills on your resume, they are going to move on to the next candidate who was able to convey their skills in a more articulate and concise manner.

Outdated Objective Statements

Back in the day, you could get away with a basic objective statement such as: “I am a highly qualified candidate looking for a sales position with your company.” Nowadays, this just doesn’t fly. Employers want to be impressed, they want to see pizzazz, ambition, drive, and talent. They want a “go-getter,” an “achiever,” not just a “doer” or self-serving illiterate staff member who’s just passing by until the next opportunity comes along. You have to grab their attention up front and make a strong first impression! Creating a hybrid Summary/Objective Statement provides an opportunity to include some powerful keywords for ATS, and to impress the reader up front by showing them that you actually put some effort into your application.

Now that you know the wrong way to create a resume, check out our Resume Preparation Basics to find out the right way.

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