Conventions To Avoid On A Résumé

January 28, 2015


Knowing that a résumé must stand out in the sea of other similarly qualified candidates puts a tremendous amount of pressure on job seekers. Consequently, those who are looking for new employment will often resort to conventional tactics that are supposed to get their résumés noticed, but in reality, some of these tricks can actually backfire.

Job candidates who have gaps in their work history that are unaccounted for by meaningful employment may opt for a functional résumé instead of a chronological one, and emphasize their skills without specifying where those skills were acquired.

Not only do hiring managers actually prefer chronological résumés, they see right through the ploy of using a functional résumé to hide the fact that the candidate spent more time lounging around on a beach somewhere than building a work history.

Those who would like to avoid age discrimination are sometimes tempted to leave dates out of their résumés. This is a somewhat bizarre technique that automatically signals a red flag.

Although discrimination on different levels is certainly present during a job hunt, dates of employment are highly relevant to hiring managers as it’s not quite the same thing to have staggering results from 5 years ago or from 25 years ago.

However, individuals who want to try and avoid age discrimination are advised to leave out any work experience that’s older than 15 or 20 years. That way, recent employment will be presented, but it won’t necessarily show someone’s age right off the bat.

We all know that most of the big companies use résumé-screening software, but stuffing the résumé with keywords that we assume the software will pick up may actually hide the important information a human eye is looking for.

In addition, small and medium-sized companies usually don’t even use résumé-screening software, so in reality trying to tailor a résumé so that it would be picked up by software is not the way to go. Presenting all the necessary information in a format that is required by most hiring managers is always a safer bet.