If you are not getting calls for interviews, you may need to review the documents and information employers are receiving from you. Those things are what employers are basing their decisions upon regarding which candidates they will hire. Usually, if you are not getting interviews, there are red flags deterring employers from considering you.

These are the resume red flags of death:

1. Gaps in your work history. Really, a few months do not matter, but more than six months is considered significant. If you can show on your resume that you were doing something during this time such as freelance work or furthering your education, you will be better off.

2. Lack of career progression. Career progression is not necessarily expected in all career fields, but in many it is expected that as the years go by, you will attain more important status by job title with increasing responsibilities. If the progression is not there, employers could assume your work is not worthy of promotion to higher levels or that you lack ambition.

3. You were formerly a business owner. One would assume that with all the capabilities required by an owner this would be a plus to your resume, but not necessarily. The reason you are no longer an owner is the issue. An alternative job title for unsuccessful ventures would be Manager or Operations Manager, and if asked why you became unemployed, you can simply state that the business closed.

4. Career changer without experience or education in the new field. Employers may think you are grabbing at straws, desperate for any job you can get or that you lack direction. The reason for the career change is best addressed in your cover letter and should show a genuine interest in the new career field and reasons why the employer should choose you over experienced or educated applicants. Don’t forget to throw in volunteer and hobby experience if appropriate.

5. Lack of clear direction. You are a jack-of-all trades but master of none. You have worked in many industries or many different types of positions that do not relate to one another. Employers look for candidates who have a real interest in their job industry and may question yours.

6. Multiple jobs of short duration. Employers call this “job hopping” and assume you will also leave them quickly, wasting the time they spent searching for, interviewing, and training you. The best type of resume format for this circumstance is a functional resume. However, when employers receive functional resumes, they often wonder what an applicant may be hiding. If you were freelancing or a contractor, list all companies or persons for whom you worked under one section with your freelance or contractor job title as the heading.

7. You never completed a high school diploma or a GED. Employers presume this is evidence of lack of ambition or laziness. If you did not complete high school, leave the education section off your resume completely.

Go through your resume carefully looking for red flags, and decide whether you need to have some re-vamping done. Then continue your job search with renewed energy and hope. Your new job is out there. It’s time to claim it.

Related posts:

  1. Should You Call a Company After You Sent Your Resume?
  2. Group Interviews: An Introduction
  3. Resume Tips that Set You Apart from Your Peers
  4. How to Get Your Resume to Stand Out
  5. How to Deal with Job Rejection

3 Responses

12.13.12

With so many people still getting laid off, how to handle a gap in employment on your resume has become a pretty common topic. Learning a new skill or volunteering somewhere are both great things to put on your resume. Thanks for your tips!

[...] be reading many different resumes so you need to make sure that yours stands out for all the right reasons. Keeping your resume clean and tidy, you want it to include all of the information that is needed [...]

[...] should never be so secure in your career that you don’t keep your resume updated. Even before you begin to fear that your job is in jeopardy, revamp your resume. Take a look around [...]

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