You’re obviously qualified for the position and your resume is on point. You’ve got great formatting, quantified bullet points, and a degree that lines up perfectly with the role.
What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, hopefully nothing but let’s take a quick glance at that great resume and make sure it’s not missing anything that may cause red flags among recruiters or, worse, land you in the “no” pile before anyone has a chance to view it.
1. You Include Titles That May Not Be Understood
Some organizations have very specific job titles. Other companies attempt to be incredibly cute or original with titles. This is all fine and well if you’re not planning to leave that company, but if and when you do decide to move on, non-obvious titles can work against you.
How to Fix It
If you’ve got a title that is potentially confusing, consider listing two titles–your actual title and one that more accurately reflects what the job would be called within the company you are seeking employment with.
This will enable decision makers to more readily understand your role and how it fits into their organization.
2. Unexplained Gaps in Employment
No matter how incredible your job history is, if you have gaps that you suspect a recruiter or hiring manager may wonder about, assume that they will.
Remember, your best defense is almost always a good offense. So, if you have a gap in your career chronology, consider briefly explaining it right in the resume, rather than hoping no one will notice or care.
How to Fix It
Say you relocated with your spouse to another state, and then didn’t find a new job for 10 months. Consider adding a statement right at the beginning of the job you ultimately landed that reads something like this: “Following a family relocation to Austin, accepted a client services role with this leading food manufacturer.”
If, by chance, you got laid off and it took a while to land a new role, you might consider beginning with a description of the job you did, like this: “Following the bankruptcy of XYZ Company, accepted an opportunity to manage national accounts for this global furniture manufacturer.”
Statements and strategies like this quickly and succinctly remove the question mark, and enable you to then move right into the details about your accomplishments.
Remember that the best job application and resume is one that makes it very clear to a recruiter that the applicant and their work history and experience line up with the goals and objectives of the job.