Talent Development Centre

The Top 5 Things Recruiters Hate About Your Resume


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Eagle’s Recruitment Specialists across Canada review resumes on a daily basis and are always screening candidates.  We recently did a survey to get their opinions on the resumes they see every day and they identified many great things you can do to improve your resume.  We’ll share those with you in the coming weeks, but for today, we thought we’d tell you what they hate about some resumes. There were five common responses that you may want to consider if you’re updating your resume (we’re certain these pet peeves are not limited to Eagle’s Recruiters!):

  1. Not Enough Information

The number one thing in a resume that frustrates Recruiters is what they’re not seeing at all – specific details.  This includes:

  • Dates listed for assignments (Month AND Year for Start and End)
  • Proper identification of the client
  • Address (at least a city)
  • Details about the assignment (project, technical environment and responsibilities)
  • Specific details to explain experience claimed in the summary, cover letter or client grid
  • Explanations for gaps
  1. Formatting Issues

Recruiter bored of readingIf you’re not well-versed with proper formatting practices in Microsoft Word, you may want to get some help formatting your resume because Recruiters indicated that they dislike bad formatting. What do we mean by that?

  • Large bricks of text which is made worse if there are no bullet points;
  • Different fonts and text sizes scattered throughout; and
  • Use of spaces instead of proper tab indents.

With that in mind, be careful not to over-do it. Excessive or overly-fancy formatting can have the same effects.  Too many tables and graphics can complicate the evaluation, especially if they don’t appear properly on somebody else’s computer.  The end goal?  To ensure the resume is easy to read!

  1. Spelling and Grammar Errors

This is pretty straight forward.  Although MS Word has plenty of tools that help prevent spelling and grammar mistakes, it can still happen to the best of us – especially when we’re in a hurry.  Remember to take a few minutes to review your resume and make any necessary corrections.  If you’re not strong in that area, have a friend proof-read it for you.

  1. Confusing Content

Some Recruitment Specialists commented about resumes that are confusing or difficult to interpret.  This comes from content such as:

  • Dates overlapping or not in chronological order ;
  • Misleading information that attempts to make experience look better than it really is;
  • A section that describes skills and experience, then a brief line listing roles and clients, but nothing saying where experiences were obtained and on which projects; and,
  • Lack of focus and detail.
  1. Too Much Information

Yes, this contradicts number one, but sometimes it’s possible to have too much information in your resume.  For example:

  • An excessive paragraph-form summary of experience before the work experience section;
  • Being too “wordy”; or,
  • A hobbies and interests section (over 90% actually stated that this section rarely or never affects their opinion of a candidate).

With these things in mind, take a look and see if you can make improvements to your resume.  If you’re looking to spice up your resume, keep posted to the Talent Development Centre and watch for our next post in this series that will tell you what will make your resume stand out to a Recruiter.  Are there any other questions you’d like us to ask our Recruiters?  Let us know in the comments below.

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