Sometimes, it's the little things that can send your resume into the reject pile, without it even getting a close look. Naming your resume "resume" can send it to the trash faster than you can blink. So can forgetting to write in proper sentences.
At Software Advice, the company sorts through about 150 candidates for each hire they make. Only about twelve of those 150 candidates get to a first-round phone interview. Many of them are rejected for little, and sometimes silly, things like how you name or save your resume, that are still enough to knock the resume out of contention.
Don Fornes, CEO of Software Advice, shares his tips on how to name your resume, how to write your letters and resume, and how to save your resume.
Don't name your resume, "resume." About a third of applicants name their resume document, "resume.doc." "Resume" may make sense on your computer, where you know it's your resume. However, on my computer, it's one of many, many resumes with the same name. By using such a generic file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to brand themselves (e.g. "John Doe - Quota Crusher"). If you're qualified enough to sell or market for us, you won't miss the opportunity to at least use your name in the file name.
Don't use all lowercase. i'm not sure where this trend originated. is it some text messaging thing? it's so easy to capitalize properly on a keyboard. how much time is this really saving you? to me, it screams out, "hi. i'm lazy. my pinkies are really heavy and I'd rather not move them to shift. when i start working for you, i'll look for other ways to be lazy. i'll also rebel against authority figures like you, just like i'm rebelling against the english teachers that dedicated their lives to helping me become literate."
Proofread your resume. It's unbelievable the number of spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes I see in resumes. Again, this is a blaring clue telling the hiring manager that you don't check your work and you don't pay attention to detail.
PDF your resume. Not everyone uses the same operating system and word processor that you do. I use a Mac. I don't have Word - don't want it. My ATS can't handle .docx files. A lot of the resumes I see come through horribly garbled. So much for that nice formatting you did (Did you?). PDF, or portable document format, is a simple solution.
Here's how to get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager, plus more tips on what not to do and what not do when you're applying for jobs from Don Fornes.
Copyright Pali Rao