Matt Healy - Web Developer
Perth, Western Australia
 

Resume fails

I've interviewed applicants for several developer and tech support jobs over the years. During the recruitment process you get pretty good at evaluating resumes quickly and efficiently. In general, I can decide in the first thirty seconds if the applicant is going to qualify for an interview or not. I don't mean for that to sound harsh or ruthless, but for any given position there can be at least 100 applicants so it's important to filter through them efficiently.

I've compiled the below list of my top "resume fails" in the hope that job applicants out there can avoid making simple mistakes which might get their resumes deleted.

  • Not including a resume and cover letter
    • Yes, this has actually happened to me. Even if you're new to the workforce, at least try to come up with something.
  • Basic spelling or grammar mistakes
    • Particularly when the job ad calls for "Excellent written communication skills", or you've listed your best quality as "extraordinary attention to detail"
  • Terrible formatting
  • Listing every single job you've ever had, even if not relevant to this position
    • I don't care if you were a trolley boy at 16 - it doesn't matter. I'm more interested in the IT project you worked on at uni, or the website you decided to set up in your spare time at your last job.
  • List every single IT skill you have
    • It is possible to overdo it. If I'm looking for a web developer, your mad skills in Assembly probably won't help me.
    • Also, listing a bunch of acronyms like HTML, XHTML, and DHTML just looks like you're padding out your resume.
  • Keep it short - four or five pages at most

Above all, the most important advice I can give is to make sure your application looks like it has been tailored to the position - which it should be. There's no point in lazily sending out the same application for every position; you almost guarantee that your resume will be deleted in those critical first thirty seconds.

Happy job hunting and good luck!