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Google HR: 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Trevor 7 comments

Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, recently published an article in linkedin.

He mentions that Google sometimes gets more than 50,000 resumes in a single week. That’s a lot of resumes.

“Some are brilliant, most are just ok, many are disasters. The toughest part is that for 15 years, I’ve continued to see the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job. What’s most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these are good, even great, people. But in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don’t need to compromise on quality. All it takes is one small mistake and a manager will reject an otherwise interesting candidate.”

Don’t have your resume fall under the ‘ok’ or ‘disaster’ piles, strive to turn it into a brilliant resume by avoiding these five mistakes.

Mistake One: Typos As obvious as it seems, a CarerrBuilder survey from 2013 found that 58% of resumes have typos.

“Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality. “

Bock suggests reading the resume from the bottom up in order to read each line in isolation. Another option is to have someone else proofread your resume closely to ensure zero mistakes.

Mistake Two: Length. A good rule of thumb is one page of resume for every 10 years of work experience. Focus on getting an interview first through an impressive resume. You can focus on convincing the hiring manager when you actually get the interview.

“A crisp, focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey the most important information about you. Think about it this way: the *sole* purpose of a resume is to get you an interview.”

Mistake Three: Formatting. Ensure that your resume can be opened across platforms satisfactorily, as the formatting usually shifts a bit. To prevent any issues, saving your file in a PDF will guarantee that the recipient will see the document as you intended.

“Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible. At least ten point font. At least half-inch margins. White paper, black ink. Consistent spacing between lines, columns aligned, your name and contact information on every page.”

Mistake Four: Confidential information. When you reveal confidential information, you are telling your potential employer that you might also reveal their trade secrets to competitors. Make sure you are ethical about honoring your confidentiality agreement.

I once received a resume from an applicant working at a top-three consulting firm. This firm had a strict confidentiality policy: client names were never to be shared. On the resume, the candidate wrote: “Consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington.” Rejected!

Mistake Five: Lies. This is quite obvious, especially in the age of the Internet. A quick search will reveal more than you think. You might want to check out “Is your social media killing your job opportunities.”

Putting a lie on your resume is never, ever, ever, worth it. Everyone, up to and including CEOs, gets fired for this. (Google “CEO fired for lying on resume” and see.) People lie about their degrees (three credits shy of a college degree is not a degree), [their GPA’s], and where they went to school (sorry, but employers don’t view a degree granted online for “life experience” as the same as UCLA or Seton Hall).

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