10 Things HR Notices About Your Resume and 10 Things they Ignore
Do you think your resume includes the right information?
First, let's take a look at the 10 things HR directors look for when they receive your resume.
1. Companies You've Worked for in the Past
This is a big one for many reasons. First, it lets them know if you've worked for or with some major players in your industry. It's also an indication of the type of work environments you've experienced
2. The Title of Your Last Position
This is an indication of your most recent experience, which is huge. It is also an indication of how long you have held that position
Most HR staff hits CTRL F the minute the open up a resume. What they are looking for are keywords that are relevant to the position they are seeking to fill.
4. Gaps in Employment
These won't result in immediate disqualification, but HR does find them concerning if there is not explanation.
5. Spelling and Grammar
If you cannot take the time to use spelling and grammar check or proofread your resume, this is a big red flag.
HR staff looks at this for several reasons. Will they have to offer you a relocation package? Will they have to help you secure a VISA?
7. Your Internet Presence
If you have a personal website, Twitter, or other social media account that you believe has content that is relevant to your skills and qualifications, by all means include this information.
8. Career Progression
Has your career been on an upward trajectory, or have you been making lateral moves for the last few years? If you have worked in the same industry for years, but have not moved up the ladder, this can be a concern.
9. Resume Delivery Method
This is more about the ability to follow instructions than content. If your resume arrives via the appropriate channel, addressed to the appropriate person, with the requested subject line, HR staff is going to love you just a little bit even before they read your resume.
10. Sequence and Organization
Is your resume organized in a way that makes sense for the position you are seeking and the qualifications that you have? HR staff doesn't want to spend a lot of time backtracking to find relevant information.
Now, let's look at ten things that HR ignores or finds problematic when reviewing a resume.
1. Personal Details
HR staff doesn't want to know if you are divorced, disabled, have children, how tall you are, or how much you weigh. These details are awkward at best, and at worse can put HR in a precarious legal position.
You should include this information. After all, if a degree is required to qualify for a position, you definitely want to include yours in your resume. However, don't overestimate the importance of the section. Unless you went to an Ivy league school, HR isn't going to spend more than a few seconds on this.
3. Resume Templates
Using a Word template that is publicly available and that has been downloaded by thousands of people is not going to make your resume stand out.
You can omit this altogether. Also, unless you are recognizable in a few industries such as marketing and design, calling it a 'Branding Statement' doesn't make it anything other than an objective.
5. Writing in the First Person
This can make resumes awkward to read. It is almost always better to stick to the third person.
6. Sending an Infographic Instead of a Resume
Linking to an infographic in your resume, on the other hand, is great.
7. Linking to Irrelevant Social Media Websites
HR loves to click on links when they lead to websites that represent you as a professional. They don't need to see your 'friends and family' account.
8. Overblown Titles
If the title you put on your resume doesn't match the duties you performed, HR will note that. If you've lied about a title altogether, HR will find out when they do their initial background screening.
9. Irrelevant Work Experience
If you are pursuing an entry level position, by all means include whatever work and volunteer experience that you have. If you have a few years experience, on the other hand, leave off the job you had in high school bagging groceries.
10. Dubious Awards
If you are going to include this in your resume, stick to awards that are directly related to the industry that you are in, educational awards, and community service awards.