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4 Things Hiring Managers Don't Want to See on Your Resume

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

Though the job market is pretty healthy these days, there's a lot of competition out there. One way to get a leg up, therefore, is to present an outstanding resume, and knowing what mistakes to avoid will help in this regard. Here are four things that are almost guaranteed to turn hiring managers off, so keep them in mind when crafting your resume.

1. A boring personal summary

The first thing hiring managers will see on your resume is your opening summary, and getting that snippet wrong could cause that document to get rejected in the blink of an eye. When composing your personal summary, be sure to steer clear of boring clichés and buzzwords like "go-getter" and "team player." Instead, get creative. While calling yourself a "copywriting ninja" is a bit bold, it'll also grab hiring managers' attention more than "detail-oriented copywriter who strives for results."

Woman holding up a resume.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Grammatical errors

When hiring managers get a ton of qualified candidates for a given role, they often have no choice but to look for reasons to weed out applicants. And if your resume contains even one or two grammatical errors, there's a good chance it'll wind up in one rejection pile or another. That's why you must make sure to present a grammatically clean document, even if you're applying for a role that in no way hinges on your linguistic prowess or lack thereof.

Unfortunately, computerized spell- and grammar-check programs don't always do the trick in spotting errors, so your best bet might be to enlist the help of a friend or associate who's better at grammar than you are. Even if you don't know a so-called grammar wiz, remember that an outsider is far more likely to pick up on mistakes than you are as the author.

3. Hard-to-read fonts

Most hiring managers scan resumes rather than read them. Therefore, using a tiny font to cram as much information onto a single page as possible isn't going to serve you well. You're better off making sure your resume is easy on the eyes, and that means choosing a more readable font, even if it causes your content to spill over to a second page.

4. A rundown of every responsibility you've ever been tasked with

The purpose of a resume is to help you prove that you're qualified for whatever role you're applying to. As such, it's natural to want to include as much experience as possible. But there is such a thing as going overboard in this regard, especially if that document winds up rehashing every single task you've accomplished in your career. So rather than focus on quantity of responsibilities, focus on quality and relevance. Maybe you did field customer service calls in your early days as an account manager, but if you spent the past two years onboarding major clients and implementing a training program that increased sales, it pays to focus on those items instead.

A solid resume is your ticket to a job interview and eventual offer. Avoid these mistakes, and there's a better chance your application won't wind up in the trash.

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