4 Resume Mistakes That Push Recruiters Away

February 8, 2018

When you’re job searching but not getting responses – even though you know you could do the jobs perfectly well – questions start to spring to mind. Doubt starts to settle in.


Here’s what a candidate sent to my inbox: “I’ve hit a wall and now I’m frustrated. I spent a lot of time on my resume, and I definitely make sure it has the keywords relevant to the jobs I’m interested in. However, I get no responses, and I don’t understand it. What else can I do to get people to respond to me somehow, someway?”


So, let’s talk about 4 resume mistakes that push recruiters away. Hopefully you’re not falling victim to any of these. If you are, the good news is you’re getting actionable strategies you can take immediately to rectify these issues.


Your resume timeline has gaps and holes that you could drive a truck through


Let me tell you something about resume gaps: it’s perfectly natural to be concerned about them. It’s also perfectly natural to want to hide them.


That being the case, though, the hugest mistake I see candidates making is emblazoning the dates – in bold font – down the right or left margins of the resume. Why on earth would you call such attention to something you wish you didn’t have to explain?


The right way to present dates with gaps is this: list your employer and the city they’re in on 1 line, in bold. On the next line, list your job title, in bold, followed by the dates not in bold, followed on the same line by the scope of responsibility.


The dates don’t disappear. But they’re not visually emphasized and slapping the recruiter in the face in the 1st crucial 6 seconds.


You got the brilliant idea to have a functional resume


I need you to not do that. Just don’t.


Across the board, most recruiters do not appreciate a functional resume. (Translation: they will delete it post haste). There are a few reasons why: overall, they feel like if you’re going with a functional format, the reason is you’re trying to hide something. A functional resume makes it hard to find your dates, employers, and job titles.


But…#newsflash: those are the EXACT pieces of information recruiters are looking for. If they can’t find them, they’re irritated.


A functional resume is for a VERY specific scenario. For example, you’re an IT professional with 20 years of experience, who also happens to have a serious, life-long love of fine art. You know so much about the origins and history of all kinds of pieces. So, 1 day, you decide to change careers and pursue roles as a museum curator. THAT’s when a functional resume comes into play.


Someone told you to list consulting on your resume for the time you were actually unemployed


Here’s the problem with consulting – most candidate’s consulting looks as fake as Photoshop on top of a Snapchat filter.


Here’s consulting gone wrong: “Independent IT Consultant (2016 to Present): Providing IT consulting and software development services to select clients, specializing in project management, software architecture, and IT operational issues.”


If you’ve been doing your so-called consulting since 2016, then it would stand to reason that you did some actual projects in all that time. So, present them.


Whether the project was free or paid, for friends or real businesses, present them.


Present who the client is – not by name, but by description – what they called you in to do, what you actually did, and what the results were.


You held on to the 1982 mentality about saving your stories for the interview.






I’m going to need you to stop thinking that.


When it comes to your resume, when you’re just being general, you’re just being deleted.


Understand this: your resume IS your interview.


Therefore, you can’t just say you generated multi-millions in annual sales. What does “multi-millions” mean? $3 million or $300 million?


It’s significantly better for you to provide the story in detail on your resume. That can look a little something like this: “Increased sales revenues by up to $300k with a 45% profit margin, by collaborating with Merritt Industries to drive growth in customer value across all project spectrums.


Let’s not have you make those 4 resume mistakes that push recruiters away. Deal properly with the holes in your timeline. 99.9% of you do not need to go functional. Put some teeth into the consulting work you listed. And drill down to specific achievements.


Now that you’re not pushing recruiters away anymore, why don’t you also find out what to do so you can immediately talk to virtually any recruiter or decision maker? I’m going over the exact step-by-step strategy in, “5 Secret Job Search Hacks For The Age 50+ Job-Hunter.” Register today to find out how to see who the decision makers are, how to reach out to them properly, and how to stay top of mind with them when it comes time for them to select the candidate to call, interview, and hire.

2 comments on “4 Resume Mistakes That Push Recruiters Away
  1. L Venable says:

    I work in production. I don’t have any “stories”. Projects hit my desk, I work them to the customer’s satisfaction, I plate them and they go to the production floor and post production.

    So, what do I “highlight” on my resume. I’m one cog in an assembly of team effort.

  2. jewelbracydemaio says:

    In your case, your individual projects make for each individual story. Start there!

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