Recruiter Pet Peeves–Is Your Resume Guilty?

What’s the last thing you want in a job search? To have employers toss your resume aside as not worth their time. How can you get to first base with them if your resume turns them off? Hint: You need to avoid running afoul of recruiter pet peeves about the resumes they receive.

Worst Recruiter Pet Peeves about Resumes

According to a recent survey by Career Directors International, these resume slip-ups top the list of recruiter pet peeves:recruiter pet peeves wastebasket

  1. Mistakes: Unless you want your resume to land in the wastebasket, you need to have an error-free document. What’s more, making mistakes in your contact information will send your resume into a black hole!
  2. Not enough information: If your company isn’t a household name, include a brief identifier about it. By the same token, if you have a rare or confusing job title, add the more common title most people would recognize.
  3. Too long and general: Get to the point; make it clear and concise. Include specific details where a more general statement would give employers little to go on.

And More Pet Peeves

As if the above items weren’t enough, you also need to watch out for the following:

resume stack

  1. Inconsistent format: For example, if you bold certain items and don’t bold others that are similar, it raises issues with recruiters. Switching back and forth between multiple fonts can also annoy them. Focus on consistency.
  2. One-size-fits-all resumes: Although you don’t need to rewrite your resume for every opportunity, check to ensure that it fits the key pieces of the job posting. Make minor adjustments if needed for better focus, at least for jobs you really want. On the other hand, understand that more isn’t always better: 50 resume versions requires more work to maintain than two or three!
  3. Over-the-top graphics: Enhance the content; don’t distract from it.

How to Avoid Those Recruiter Pet Peeves

Go through your resume with an eagle eye before you send it to an employer. Examine it carefully for errors and other flaws. Run the resume by someone who’s good at spotting problems.magnifying glass

Then fix what shows up as less than it should be! Focus on making your resume an employer magnet–one that draws attention from the companies you want to join.

P.S. I learned a few hard lessons years ago about the flaws in my own resume. I’d love to help my clients (now and future) avoid those same mistakes! Call me if you have questions about how that can happen, 508-263-9454, email me at, or visit my website, A Successful Career.


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