By this time, you should know that typos and grammatical errors can be fatal to a resume.
However, there is one flaw that is the most deadly of them all—the perfect resume killer!
Rambling and unclear language.
Compared language that is all over the place, the occasional typo, outdated technology references or even an unexplained employment gap are somewhat excusable.
A resume that does not concisely reveal the person you are and what you have done will be dead on arrival. It doesn’t matter how qualified you may be. A human resources staffer, hiring manager or recruiter cannot judge you on your qualifications if they are not able to FIND your qualifications.
A candidate may have the greatest technical skills in the world, but if they can’t immediately take it from reading a resume, that’s bad. What’s worse is reading your CV several times, and it still makes no sense.
How to avoid incoherence—the most fatal resume flaw:
Establish Skills On Your Resume
Incoherent resumes have a few common qualities. They often fail to establish a basis for recruiters to learn about you by being clear-cut; starting with a well-defined headline, a real opening statement that highlights your specialty and states the job you are seeking.
Leading off with a broad statement is the first sign of a resume that is DOA, like “Experienced Sales Professional Pursuing Opportunities in a Challenging, Innovative Atmosphere.”
What is the extent of the projects you have worked on? What were your roles and responsibilities? These are the things that hiring managers look for; relevance of your experience and capabilities to the job.
If your experiences are listed in bullet points with disparate tools and without the skills and software programs in your technical skills summary, change it now!
Lack of Focus
On every recruiter’s desk, there is a plethora of worthless resumes. The worst offenders are resumes with long lists of programs and tools in a technical summary, but dwells on other experience in a work history.
Your resume will lack focus when you front-load them with every possible skill and make them too keyword-rich.
Yes, I know; you are asking if automated resume screening should include keywords. Of course, they should! However, you should check those keywords, as well as skills that fall outside of your basic position, and put them in context.
Categorize skills as either primary or secondary. That will help reviewers understand the qualifications that support your stated goals.
Since you will be clear about your talents and where your interests lay, experience with every skill or tool in the job description is not required. Compensating for lack of skills, camouflaging a poor track record or rubberstamping your CV to apply for several positions, will make your resume come off as fractured and disjointed.
Three Words for Your Resume: Clarity, Clarity and Clarity
Did I say you need to be clear? Submitting a six-page beast will create more questions about you, your goals and experience than it will answer.
Don’t hurt your chances with a resume that doesn’t read well or have a coherent message. Before you consider sending your resume, ask someone—a friend, family member or colleague—to read it first. Have them check for readability and clarity.
Remember, if it doesn’t make sense, a recruiter or hiring manager will have no choice but to ditch it, in favor of someone who can communicate clearly.