Job Recruiters Share Their Instant Resume Turn-Offs

I don't need to see your High School glamour shots love.

Job hunting can be stressful and trying to fill a position can be equally as frustrating. So let's all work together shall we? When interviewing or applying for a job for the love of all that is holy, at least know your basics!

Make sure your contact info is on your resume. (I'm serious, it's a real issue) Don't oversell your abilities. Stick with your goals and your facts. The list is endless. You'd think resume building was never taught. Pay attention!

Redditor khlose wanted recruiters to help us out by asking... Recruiters of Reddit, what is the one instant turn-off that people still have on their resumes?

Did you want a cookie and a juice box for your efforts?


The other day I had someone list "Pre-School" along with the name of the school under their education section.


People who tie themselves in knots to fit exactly into whatever resume template they are using. Combining jobs because you want to list 4 but the template has space for 3.

Using a template with like 8 bullet points for "awards" and digging so deep you're listing "second grader of the month May 1992."

I usually point to the offending section and ask "what are you trying to tell the person reading this?" And if you cant answer that question it doesn't need to be there.


Wow. You're special.


My friend had someone come into his work with a resume a few years back, one of the "achievements" he had listed was, "Able to walk extremely long distances without getting tired."


Less is more love....

They have just stacks and stacks of pages . Like 40 page resumes.


40 pages is only acceptable in an academic CV.


You're not sending texts to mom...


Not using something as simple as capital letters at the start of sentences. And capitalizing words that do not need to be capitalized.


Why don't you call Russia.


I had a resume once state for work experience being "Hacker - The Internet."

Other gems included in the resume were:

"I've been both fired and hired for hacking various things," "I've never been convicted of a computer crime"

I will admit it gave me a chuckle but certainly was a deterrent for the job.


Don't mix it up with your Tinder profile...

My brother works at camping world and told me someone wrote on their resume "If you don't want me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best." Who the hell puts that on a resume? What does that have to do with goddamn camping world? She was 29 years old for gods sake.


Call a therapist...


This isn't common nor should be, but I'm gonna share it anyway. A guy turned in a resume for a sales job with a picture of his face and a pie chart breaking down his "amazing" traits like listening and dedication.


Don't annoy me!

I'm not a recruiter but I have been in charge of hiring, and I hate objectives. They're useless and waste space, in my opinion. Also I don't like repetitive bullet points; if you did the same thing at a bunch of different jobs, mix it up and show me what OTHER things you did at the jobs.

They're not dealbreakers of course, just annoyances.


Know your audience!


I've spent years eyeballs-deep in a couple of much-beloved MMOs - I've been there, pulled the all-nighters, rolled on the loot, I get it - so I can almost understand the temptation, but please for the love of God don't start banging on about how leading your guild and planning raid strategies is remotely connected to the job you're applying for.


Have a pulse...

I hire a lot of front-end developers and UI/UX designers. About a quarter of the resumes I consider have a portfolio or personal site link that is dead. Make sure your site is live before you send out your resume!


How are the basics not already obvious?


Typos, irrelevant information especially, recently a resume came in that had the person's name, contact info, high school info, and 1 job experience: McDonalds. The whole resume was 1/3rd sheet of paper.

We loved it, its all we needed to know, compared to mr. I like to take long walks on the beach. We really don't have time to read even the page you submit, so if it has to be a page, it better be good.

Also we had a guy send a 5 page resume, which is extreme but it was for a higher position, still 5 pages. The kicker is that one of the pages was a full blown headshot selfie.

He didn't get a call back.


Former recruiter.

The only thing I don't already see mentioned here already is a mission statement for a totally different industry.

"Looking for an exciting career in zookeeping" while applying to an office job is a great way to see that you're going to leave as soon as you get the job you ACTUALLY wanted.

To a lesser extent, also really vague mission statements. That shows you have no idea what you want, which can be fine in some contexts, but is going to lose out to someone who knows they want the job in question. If you're trying to create a generic resume, just leave that bit out. If you know what type of career you're looking for, it's maybe worth including.


There isn't a point system...

This one goes out to you Designers out there. I have worked with some well respected graphic designers throughout University and during my career who have been in the field for many years.

Now as graphic designers, your resume is the recruiters first taste at your design skills. That being said, I've seen many new designers put a chart displaying their efficiency in various Adobe or design skills.

For example:

x x x x o - Adobe Photoshop

x x x x x - Adobe Illustrator

x x x o o - Photography

x x x x o - Drawing

Every person Ive talked to who hires designers hates when people do this. Often times you will be doing yourself more harm than good by showing your skillset like this. Simply stating your professional skills and not ranking yourself will always be the better choice. Let your portfolio show your levels of proficiency.


Not so comical...


Not common but a couple months ago, this kid applied to my clinic for assistant stuff. The damn thing was in Comic Sans. Yuck.

I actually felt bad so I sent him an email with small pointers and improvements he could do on his resume. Doing my civic duty yippee!


Blah, blah, blah... I'm bored!

Ridiculous corporate jargon – "In my last position, I leveraged synergies between business units to create value and a win-win scenario which empowered other business units to think outside the box and take a deep dive into core competencies to create buy-in and game changing results." Next.

Unprofessional emails, it takes two minutes to set up a new one, no need to keep the one you set up at 15. If you would be embarrassed for someone to read it aloud in front of a office full of people, get a new one.

Cliche action words with no purpose to them. I'm looking for skills on a CV not to see if you're a dynamic, friendly person who likes to hang out with friends and go to the movies.

Team player but can work well on my own - we all can a CV can't prove that.

It takes a recruiter 30secs to read a CV, I want your experience to jump out at me, lengthy, wordy CVs make me want to put it to the back of the pile, I'm not reading 10 pages of a project you did 15years ago whilst on your placement year. If you have the experience I'll be calling you to find out more, so keep it all relevant and but too the point. 2 pages for a low level role, 4 tops for management.


Is God holding appointments?


How has no one mentioned the Bible verse quotes?! Or do I just get all the nutjobs who think that's appropriate for a bloody resume?


Kim Kardashian? Is that you?


Adding Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under "technical skills."


I interview candidates for entry-level positions that require some light computer operations ability. People in this position use a computer to input reports and attach items to documents in a way very similar to how email works. This part of the job is something any 10 year old in America could be taught to do.

One candidate attached a resume file written in a version of WordPerfect from the 1980s. The file was unreadable, but he was a recommendation from one of our senior managers so I called him anyway. I set up the interview appointment, and he sounded excited to come in. I told him to bring a physical paper copy of his resume in to the interview. He seemed very distressed by this request, and said "I'll see what I can do."

The next day, he shows up for his interview. He hands me a sheet of paper that looks like a passable resume format, and I set it aside to look at later. Then we do the interview. He's a nice guy and I don't hate him, but he's very obviously wrong for the job. I thank him for his time and let him know we'll be getting back to him soon. I spend a minute thinking about how I'm going to explain to the senior manager who recommended this guy that he's not going to work out, and I'm more than a little annoyed that said manager would even suggest this guy as a candidate in the first place. While I'm thinking about all of this, the candidate sticks his head back into the office.

I say, "Hello again."

He says, "Hey, sorry but I forgot something."

I glance around and don't see anything. "What did you forget?"

He says, "I'm going to need that resume back. I only made one copy."

I'm stunned. For a second I think he's making a really bad joke, and I'm looking all over his face for any sign of humor or anything at all in his expression to help me figure out what the heck he's talking about. We stare at each other awkwardly, me with a blank expression, and him with an expectant "sorry about that!" kind of grimace. He finally glances down at his resume, the sheet of paper I set aside on my desk. It slowly dawns on me that this guy actually wants me to give his resume back to him.

So I did. Good luck in life, pal. You're gonna need it.



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