Signs Of Bad Resumes That You Need To Look Out For
When youre reviewing hundreds of resumes a week, you need to be able to spot the bad ones quickly. Not knowing which red flags signal possible bad hires can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.
But, depending on the position and the candidate, some resume mistakes are forgivable. So how do you know when to give a job seeker another chance or just move on?
These are the resume signs that hiring experts use to help them weed out the wrong candidates:
Applicant Tracking Systems And Color On A Resume
Most companies today automatically screen your resume. Nearly 75% of candidates are rejected by the ATS and many times it’s because the resume isn’t formatted properly.
Applicant Tracking Systems instantly recognize black text but may struggle with fancy colors, graphics, and icons. Since you need to get past those systems to be considered by an actual human, itâs important to comply with the machineâs expectations.
Match Your Resume To Your Cover Letter
Another important tip is to make sure that your resume design matches the design of your cover letter.
Specifically, the colors that you use in your resume should always be the same as the ones in your cover letter header. This will make your application look as consistent and professional as possible.
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Should Resumes Have Color Closing Thoughts
As you can see, when deciding on colors for your resume, you should always rely on your better judgment and familiarity with the context. If you know that the company appreciates individuality and creative approaches, go for it. However, if you are not confident that splashes of color on your resume will get a warm reception, go with the safe black and white variant.
Although you never fully know what is attractive to another person, you can just stick to the rules and be on the safe side in such an exhaustive process as a job search.
Myths About Writing Your Resume
As a dedicated job seeker, you’ve probably spent hours writing, tailoring and blasting your perfectly polished resume. Youre confident you have done everything right: The flawless document is confined to one page includes a clear objective and lists a plethora of soft skills.
But as it turns out, contrary to popular belief, those features dont necessarily make for an ideal resume.
Here are 12 resume writing myths:
Myth: You must reference references. While references will likely matter further into the interview process, noting on your resume that references are available upon request will not make your resume stand out, says Jacob Bollinger, lead data scientist at Bright.com, an employment site with more than 2.5 million job listings.
Myth: You must keep your resume to one page. Not true! Page count is not as important as the number of words on the page, Bollinger says. The number of words actually affected recruiters in a bell curve manner. So what’s the magic word count that keeps recruiters reading ? About 390 words per page.
Ann Baehr, an executive resume writer and founder of Best Resumes of New York says one page resumes are best for early career job seekers. Even then, if there is a lot of valuable information that simple cannot fit on one page, a second page is fine. I have done plenty of two page resumes for early career professionals and it has never been an issue.
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Which Colors Are Best For A Resume
This question does not have a simple answer. The best resume colors are determined by the profession you are applying to and the impression you want to make.
However, there are some fundamental principles to remember.
Here is a guideline for creating an appealing color scheme that will not turn off employers.
A safe resume color scheme is black, white, and a third color .
Make one color the dominant color, another the secondary color, and the third the accent color. Utilize white for the background, black for the text, and the remaining color to outline key elements.
Bright colors should be avoided in general because they can be distracting and appear unprofessional.
The color of your resume should complement it rather than detract from it. It is also difficult to read light colors against a white background.
If possible, use the same colors in your cover letter as you do in your resume.
This aids in the development of a personal brand.
The rules do not apply if you are applying for a creative job.
It would help if you had your resume to demonstrate that you are a creative individual, and you may need to use bright colors or more than one color on your resume other than black and white.
There are professional resume templates geared toward creative professions that can save candidates a significant amount of time.
Pink Colorful Cv Template Set
Pink tones are some of the best colors for resume 2021. This CV template uses these resume color schemes in a smart way.
See how this color palette for resumes looks professional and elegant. Stand out from the rest with this colorful CV template. It includes a cover letter and a business card as well. You can edit the complete colorful resume set in Photoshop, Illustrator and MS Word.
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Bad Resume Tip : Use Hidden Keywords To Beat Applicant Tracking Systems
Making sure your resume is optimized for and compliant with ATS is a savvy and above-board job search technique. Trying to hack or cheat the system by secretly stuffing your resume with skills you dont possess is an easily discoverable tactic that will land you on a recruiters bad side.
In the Reddit community Unethical Pro Tips, a user suggested hiding the entire job description in your resume with white text while another suggested using Jobscan to figure out which keywords you should secretly stuff into your resume.
Why it seems like a good idea:Its true that these techniques could manipulate an applicant tracking systems ranking or search algorithm to make you appear to be a great match for the job.
Why it isnt: Many top applicant tracking systems parse your resume into a candidate profile, meaning that recruiters are looking at plain text fields instead of the resume you uploaded. A pasted job description would stand out like a sore thumb. Furthermore, many ATS highlight search terms so that recruiters can see the context of the keyword. Heres an example of what that looks like for an applicant who tried to secretly stuff the keyword accounting into their resume through Taleo.
An applicant profile in Taleo, the most commonly used ATS. This applicant tried to beat the system using the hidden text method , but its easy to spot once the resume text has been parsed into the system.
Should A Resume Be Black & White Or Have Color
Most job hunters look for the ways to stand out from the crowd when designing their resume. Many questions come to mind when trying to write a resume such as which font is the best to use in a resume, should I keep my resume black and white, can I add color to my resume, how to find the best resume writing professionals in Lakewood Colorado, etc. These are all great questions!
Adding color to your resume has its pros and cons and hiring managers do not say much about colored or black and white resumes. Its up to you and the job position you apply for.
If youve decided to add some color to your resume, feel free to do so, but be careful, since it can be a double-edged sword. To help you out with the colors on a resume, here is an article with some of the most important things to be careful about.
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Two Ways Of Choosing The Best Color For Your Resume
You can choose a resume color based on the emotion youd like to convey or on the branding of the company youre applying to.
According to Toptal, a top UX designer marketplace, colors can be broken down in the following ways:
In general, you should be conservative when choosing a color for your resume. You dont want to use extremely bright colors or ones that evoke a very strong emotion.
Remember to keep the recruiter in mind. You dont know who this person is or how theyll interpret the color youve chosen.
So I generally recommend staying away from strong colors and going with a neutral color like blue or green, which tend to be used by a lot of companies.
Another hack for choosing the best resume color is by using the same color as the company youre applying for.
You can google brand colors and youll usually find their color scheme in their brand guidelines. This is a great subtle way of showing them youre in tune with their company and have been thoughtful about your application.
So, whats the best color for a resume? It all depends on the company youre applying for and what youre trying to convey. In general, however, its best to use a highlight color in your resume to help the recruiter read through your resume easier.
Read more resume and interview best practices on The GHYC Blog.
Ways Your Resume Is Screaming Unprofessional
5 Ways Your Resume is Screaming “Unprofessional”
Monster Contributing WriterYou Didnt Get All the Typos OutYou Have a Ridiculous Email AddressIt Stands Out — But Not in a Good WayIt Lacks SubstanceIts a Solid Wall of Text
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How Color Distracts The Recruiter And Hurts Your Interview Chances
Adding color to a resume is a distraction. It makes it harder for the recruiter to absorb your story and justify giving you an interview.
Because the ease of submitting online applications has resulted in hundreds of applications per posting, the initial resume screening has turned into a negative screening process whereby the recruiters dedicate very little time per application and look for any opportunity to reject you.
Therefore, in those few seconds the recruiter gives you, you need to serve relevant information on a silver platter. This means information that is:
2. Clear and concise
To do so, the main tool you have at your disposal is effective formatting which comes in 4 main forms, ordered by relative frequency of use if adhering to best practices. I define frequency of use as how often 1 of the 4 types of formatting is used relative to the others when using formatting for emphasis on a resume:
- Bold: 70%
Now, what do these 4 forms of formatting have in common?
Together, these 3 attributes make your resumes information easy-to-find and clear and concise.
Color doesnt do this:
Industries Such As Finance And Law
But the opposite is true for candidates applying to other industries such as finance and law, especially large companies. Color on a resume in these industries is often considered unacceptable and may be rejected. If youâre applying to one of these industries, especially a large company, your best bet is to keep your resume black and white, like this financial analyst resume example.
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Reasons To Get Help With Building A Resume
Cant figure out which colors work better for your resume? Dont know which layout to apply to make a resume easy and comfortable to look through? Then, refer to professional resume writers for help. Here are just a few ways how our resume experts can contribute to your resume looks:
- Design is customized especially for you. We dont use ready-made templates and every resume produced by us looks different. The writer will work out the combination of layout, font and color to present your strengths more effectively.
- Effective choice of color. Not sure which color to use or how better incorporate them into a resume to maximize its efficiency? Our writers know how to use color to draw the attention to your resume and make your advantages more visible for a hiring manager.
- Right fonts and resume structure. Did you know that the font and the order in which the information is given on a resume influences whether the resume will be read or not? By placing the text in the right order and formatting it up to the latest standards, writer composes a resume which evokes the desire to read it from the top to the bottom.
Bad Resume Tip : Hide Gaps Or Short
Some people might advise to cover up gaps in your experience or short-lived jobs by reformatting the dates on your resume. For example, a January-to-September gap like this:
WXYZ Company, September 2017-PresentABCD Company, March 2015-January 2017
ABCD Company, 2015-2017
The gap magically disappears. Similarly, for a single short-term position, October 2016-January 2017 becomes 2016-2017.
Alternatively, some advise to only list the duration of employment to hide gaps or protect against age discrimination.
Why it seems like a good idea: Recruiters could see a gap in your resume or a short-lived job as a major red flag. Instead of hearing you out, they could opt to move on to other candidates. By disguising these gaps and bumps in the road with formatting tricks, you might fool the recruiter and buy enough time to get them hooked on your skillset.
Why it isnt: One, a recruiter will eventually catch on and dock you for being sneaky. Two, the applicant tracking system that parses your resume into a searchable candidate profile could fail to make sense of your formatting, creating even bigger problems.
The popular ATS iCIMS, for example, defaults year-only dates to January 1st, so the job you labeled 2017-2017 becomes January 1, 2017-January 1, 2017. The job you worked between November 2016 and December 2017 but labeled as 2016-2017 becomes January 1, 2016-January 1, 2017.
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Can A Colored Very Well Decorated Resume Get You A Job
A nicely colored resume can increase your respect and admiration in the eyes of the application reviewer, however by the time he will start reading, he will probably forget about it. Hiring managers concentrate more on the words than the color of the resume. Art and design related jobs are an exception and bear a great color weightage.
When Should I Use A Black & White Resume
Its classic, formal and theres no chance of risk. Your skills and accomplishments tell about your professionalism and quality. Theres no need to add color and distract or disappoint hiring managers with the wrong choice of color. If you are a professional with years of experience, applying for non-artistic job position, having color on your resume might help, but brings a risk of presenting your personality as a bit childish and willing to play instead of focusing on work.
Another thing to consider is that many resumes end up being printed, so having color might ruin its readability and end up being messy. The only thing you achieved is having the hiring manager to put your resume on the not to interview pile.
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Choosing The Best Color For Your Resume
If you read other articles about using color on a resume youll generally hear that adding color to your resume will be, a distraction and unprofessional. The type of resume that this usually refers to is something like this:
This resume is a classic example of bad design principles. This is a bad use of color in a resume because it overpowers the information on the resume and makes it hard to read.
So yes, the people who are referring to these kinds of resumes are correct.
The use of color is bad.
But, there are much better ways of using color in a resume that will actually boost your chances of getting hired.
A great example of this is the Clean & Blue resume template that a lot of my resume course students have used to get interviews at top companies such as Facebook, Expedia, Kaiser, LinkedIn, and many more.
This template comes from Googles recommended resume templates and it made a huge difference when I was looking for a job.
As soon as I started using this template I started getting 27% more calls for interviews.
Sometimes when I would recommend the template to my resume course students, however, they would tell me that it didnt really fit the information that they were trying to put into their resume.
Thats when I started experimenting with other templates and eventually found the Professional Green template that looked like it would suit their needs.
The results were incredibly successful!
They unanimously approved.
Popular Resume Colors Psychology
If you want to highlight your work experiences or emphasize social achievements, you will need colors. Here are the main of them and the things they can convey:
- Red is used to express passion, power, confidence, and action
- Yellow is used to show the energy and positivity of the employee
- Blue is also one of bright colors and renders honesty and reliability
- Orange is for productivity, strength, and determination
- Green is for growth and calm
- This color is used for inspiration and any spiritual matters.
Once you understand what your bullet points are, it will be much easier to choose an appropriate color.
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