4 Resume Mistakes That Will Get You Rejected

January 16th, 2018

When it comes to your job search, your resume is a mission-critical document. As leading job recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that’s how potential employers decide whether or not to bring you in for an interview. So you need to make the best impression possible with it. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for job seekers to make mistakes when crafting and submitting their resumes. To help you ensure you avoid them, here’s a look at 4 of them:

Mistake #1: It’s too long.

When it comes to your resume, don’t go longer than two pages.As job recruiters in Houston, TX, we know that anything more than that is not only unnecessary, but will make you come off as unprofessional. Hiring managers will wonder about your judgement, or think you have an exaggerated sense of your value as an employee. But when you keep it to two pages, you’ll have enough space to give a good overview of your background, without being too long-winded.

Mistake #2: It’s not customized.

If you’re sending in the same exact resume to every employer, hiring managers will notice. It’s going to seem boilerplate and generic. That’s why it’s important to customize your resume for each job you apply to. That way, you’ll make it easy for hiring managers to connect the dots about why your background and their opportunity are an ideal fit.

Mistake #3: There’s too much or too little information.

As job recruiters in Houston, TX, we know that writing a strong resume is often akin to striking the perfect balance. You want to include enough detail to ensure the hiring manager is clear on your strengths. At the same time, you don’t want to include so much that your resume becomes difficult to read. So look at your resume as your highlight reel. What strengths and accomplishments are most important to include? Focus on those, but don’t create a laundry list of your entire career.

Mistake #4: You’re extremely over-qualified or under-qualified for the job.

If you’re under-qualified for a job, the chances of getting a call for an interview are slim. However, if you’re over-qualified, and you explain in your cover letter why you’re applying to the job anyway, then there’s a good chance you could be in the running for the position. It’s when you have 15 years of experience and apply for a job that requires two years – without explanation – that hiring managers will wonder.

Does your resume need work? Do you need expert help with your job search?

Either way, call in the experts at Murray Resources. As job recruiters in Houston, TX, we can help you with all aspects of your job search, from resumes and cover letters to connecting you with top jobs throughout the city. Contact us today to learn more.

6 Common Resume Typos to Avoid

October 24th, 2012

Our team at Murray Resources, one of the premier staffing agencies in Houston, is committed to helping job seekers reach their maximum potential when it comes to being a competitive candidate for a position. A major aspect of this process is helping applicants craft effective resumes that can improve their chances of landing an interview. Many hopeul hires fail to realize that a resume’s presentation is just as important as its content, and misspellings or grammatical errors can eliminate even the most qualified of applicants from contention.

In order to ensure your resume is in top form, here are 6 common typos to avoid when preparing your resume:

1)      Spelling errors – A major pitfall in any piece of writing, especially a resume, spelling errors convey to potential employers that an applicant lacks attention to detail, a quality that’s never looked upon favorably. If you can’t be bothered to correctly spell something when representing yourself on an application, how can you be trusted to do so when you’re representing your company? Along the same vein, proper syntax is also paramount when writing a resume or cover letter. You won’t get a medal for knowing the proper usage of “their,” “they’re,” and “there,” but it can mean the difference between landing their interview or having them decide that they’re throwing your resume over there in the recycling bin.

2)      Poor Grammar – While this next point may seem obvious to some, you’d be surprised at how many resumes we review throughout the year that are chock full of grammar mistakes. Any job is going to require basic communication skills and your resume is the first demonstration to a potential employer that you possess those. A simple spell check on Microsoft Word can perform most basic grammar corrections, and if you are still struggling, staffing agencies in Houston like Murray Resources have great resources to help you overcome your grammar woes– just ask!

3)      Using incorrect verb tense – Another major typo that often occurs in resumes is using the wrong tense when describing one’s work history or skill set. If you’ve accomplished something that had an end date, be sure to describe it in the past tense (“I developed software”). If you’re still currently involved in an activity listed on your resume, explain it in the present tense (“I develop software”). It’s easy to fall into the pattern of uniformly formatting resume descriptions to a single tense, but employers want to have a sense of time and progression in your work history and accomplishments when reviewing your resume. Proper tense usage provides this kind of framing.

4)      Bullet usage inconsistency – If you use bullet points when providing descriptions on your resume, make sure to either always include a period at the end of each bullet point, or to never include a period at the end of each bullet point. It is grammatically acceptable for you to do either, but once you decide your formatting, be sure to keep it consistent throughout the duration of your resume.

5)      Employment history date blunders – Needless to say, including the dates of your past employment is a mildly important aspect of a resume! You absolutely must must MUST include the timeframe of when you were employed at past positions next to the description of your responsibilities while there. Failure to do so almost guarantees you won’t make it past the application round. Beyond just including these dates, though, is the important and recurring theme of formatting consistency. Whatever date format you choose (month written out or written as a number, etc.), be vigilant about keeping it uniform for all of your work history entries.

6)      Missing or incorrect contact information– Finally, perhaps our most important tip: ensure that the contact information on your resume is correct! Imagine having avoided all of the other resume pitfalls and intriguing an employer with your polished resume, only to include the wrong email address or mistype your phone number. You may be the most qualified applicant for the position, but a prospective employer isn’t likely to hunt down your updated contact information to offer you an interview, especially if they have a number of other qualified candidates who included their correct information. Double check to be sure that your email address, phone numbers, etc. are on your resume and  up-to-date.

Securing interviews all begins with submitting an effective cover letter and resume, and adhering to these six steps will help you to accomplish that. We hope that you incorporate this advice throughout your own job search process, and wish you all the best on your road to success!

Can’t wait until next Thursday for more resume rallying advice? Check out last week’s Rally That Resume post about the 15 most important resume tips for young professionals.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to one of the top staffing agencies in Houston – Murray Resources – for help  in exploring your next career opportunity.  Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


7 Possible Reasons Why Your Resume Got Rejected

February 1st, 2011

As executive recruiters in Houston, Texas, we’ve seen our share of resumes over the years. So why do some make it to the top, while others get tossed in the trash? Here are 7 possible reasons:

1. Not following directions.

Hiring managers get annoyed when you don’t follow simple directions, whether they asked you to include both a cover letter AND resume, put certain keywords in an email subject line, or name your email attachments in a specific way. Whatever the case, not following directions is a red flag to hiring managers that you’re not detail-oriented.

2. Mistakes.

From misspelling the hiring manager’s last name to not knowing the difference between “it’s” and “its,” these kinds of mistakes are another red flag because they signal that you don’t check your work.

3. Too much fluff.

A hiring manager would much rather see cold, hart facts (i.e. accomplishments and results you’ve achieved), not a bunch of adjectives (i.e. driven, dynamic, hard-working, etc…) describing who you are – or who you think you are – as an employee.

4. Under-qualified.

With today’s technology and job boards, it’s easier than ever to apply for positions. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If, after reading a job description, you realize you’re grossly under-qualified, don’t apply anyway because “hey, you never know.” You’ll simply annoy the hiring manager who could be looking for someone with your qualifications for their next job opening.

5. Over-qualified.

Don’t apply for positions for which you’re clearly over-qualified. The hiring manager will be concerned that you’ll jump ship at the first opportunity and won’t give your resume a second glance.

6. Poor layout.

Hiring managers only spend about 10 seconds looking at each resume. So if your resume is too verbose or if it’s poorly laid out, it can wind up in the “rejected” pile. You want the hiring manager to be able find pertinent information about your skills and background quickly, so use subheads, bullet points, and include plenty of white space.

7. Too long or too short.

There’s no hard, fast rule about resume length. If you’re a manager with 20 years of experience, then chances are you’re going to have a longer resume than a receptionist with five years of experience. That said, don’t send a resume that’s six pages long. But also don’t cut out the meat of your skills and experience because you’re afraid of going over one page.

If you’re guilty of any of the above mistakes on your resume, stop submitting and start re-writing. And if you’d like help creating your resume or finding a rewarding job opportunity, please contact Murray Resources. As executive recruiters in Houston, Texas, we can help you craft a strong resume, prepare for interviews, and access jobs you won’t find anywhere else.

Posted in: Tips
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