Bad-ResumeEmployers and recruiters may receive dozens or even hundreds of applications for open positions. They must then go through and sort these applications to determine who may be the best fit for the job. Sometimes applicant tracking systems (ATS) are the first tool used to narrow down the selection. This means that not only does your resume have to appeal to the human eye, but also to an electronic scanner. Even if you align with everything the job opening is looking for, your resume could still run the risk of being overlooked and getting lost in the shuffle.

1. Visually Unappealing or Confusing

Employers should be able to scan through your resume fairly quickly with good comprehension. It should have a logical flow and be clear where certain information is located. Trying to cram too much information into a single page, having large blocks of text, or not differentiating between sections can be a turnoff. Employers don’t want to spend time searching for information. Also, stick with a professional-looking font, standard black text, and a font size of 11 or 12.

2. No Clear Focus

Start your resume with a solid summary of qualifications and core competencies that brand you as a professional. Select a general title for yourself that aligns with your experience and the role you are seeking such as “Marketing Manager,” “Information Technology Specialist,” or “Executive-Level Administrative Assistant.” A clear focus tells employers more about who you are and why you would be a good fit. This is especially important if you have held several different job titles or are looking to switch careers. It can help to reduce confusion when reviewing your professional experience.

3. Lack of Key Words

ATS or other resume scanners are programmed to look for specific words or phrases. A core competencies section allows you to customize these keywords to various job openings depending on what the employer is looking for. It also provides them with a quick overview of your strengths and abilities. Without key words, some of your skills may be overlooked and employers may not realize that you have the capabilities they desire.

4. Lack of Metrics

If you are making claims about a job well done and how you have benefited the company, make sure you include metrics to back it up. This provides more solid support and gives employers a point of reference. Saying you increased sales by 40 percent, reduced wait time by 15 percent, managed a team of 11 direct reports, or maintained a budget of $1M is more impactful than providing vague statements. Even if you do not have access to specific metrics, highlighting the results of your efforts can be beneficial as well.

5. Too generic

Your resume should have a clear focus and be targeted to a specific role or job opening. If you are using the same resume for a wide range of positions, you may be limiting yourself. A resume that is too generic does not give employers solid evidence as to your qualifications and capabilities for the given position. You want them to see you in that specific position, not wondering where you might fit in or how your experience is relevant.

Reduce the risk of your resume getting lost in the shuffle and overlooked for positions you are qualified for by contacting Chic Resumes today. We can help you give your resume a clear focus and direction to position you in a positive light and highlight your strongest qualifications and accomplishments. To get started, call (803) 831-7444 or email

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