Job interviews can be stressful, but for some people, the application process is even more difficult. Although highly qualified, there are many people that may not even be considered for a job because they have a poor resume. Crafting a great resume isn’t just a smart move in your job search, it’s a necessity. Here are five reasons a hiring manager might throw out your resume and what you can do to fix it.

It Has Misspellings and Grammatical Errors

Proofreading and spell-checking your resume is absolutely essential. A resume full of misspelled words or bad grammar is going to tell the hiring manager that you don’t pay attention to detail. It’s also one of the simplest ways to separate out quality candidates from sub-par ones. Make sure to not only use spell check on your computer, but have someone else proofread for grammatical errors and formatting problems that the computer won’t catch. For many hiring managers, if they catch a misspelling, your application goes right into the trash can.

It’s Too Long

The general rule of thumb is to keep your resume to one page, although if you have lots of relevant work experience, you can expand it to two when necessary. Anything longer than that, however, is not going to get you hired. No one’s going to spend time reading long list of your accomplishments, no matter how impressive they are. Employers often have hundreds of resumes to sift through, and one that takes too long to review is likely going to be overlooked.

It’s Badly Formatted

Your resume should look tidy and organised. Misaligned indentations or stray double spaces are sloppy and make you look untidy as a candidate. You should also stay away from too many different font sizes and changes. Stick to a consistent look, as it is more professional and easier to read. Be sure you know the correct usage of numbers, bullet points, and when to use a period at the end of a sentence, and when to use a list form. Your contact information should be easy to find at the top of your resume and include your first and last name, phone number and email address at the very least.

Your Experience Doesn’t Speak To Their Requirements

If you’re applying for a sales-related job, it’s important to browse sales job vacancies, but it’s no use if you send in the same resume you’ve been using for clerical jobs. Tailor your resume to show off your most relevant experience. You don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had, or even just the most recent ones, but you want to showcase the most relevant ones. Be sure to keep your resume updated so that you can easily put together a specific resume for any job you may be applying for. A hiring manager should be able to glance through your resume and see a match between your experience and their job requirements.

It’s Too Nonspecific

Stay away from vague descriptors like “hard-working” or “friendly,” as those are highly subjective. Instead, focus your resume on things you have achieved in your work experience. Have you led a team or implemented new workplace strategies? These are all quantifiable achievements, and that is what hiring managers will be drawn to.

A hiring manager has only seconds to determine from your resume whether or not you’d be a good candidate. Don’t let something small like errors or poor formatting keep you from being considered. Fix these mistakes in your resume, and keep your application from ending up in the trash.

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