It’s no secret that recruiters look at more resumes in a day than most people will in their lifetime. We’ve seen everything from photos of the applicant and their cat at the top of the page, to enough spelling errors that we can hardly get through the first paragraph.

Don’t let your resume be remembered as a horror story.

When it comes to technical resumes (the kind we see most often) there are key points our talent researchers and recruiters look for. There are also common mistakes that will get your resume thrown out almost immediately.

We’re nice people over here at RedStream, so we figured we’d give you some friendly advice to help make sure your resume finds its place at the top of the pile, and not lost among the masses. Here are our biggest do’s and don’ts:

Use Keywords. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know that keywords can help get the right eyes on your resume from the start. And while industry jargon and company specific slang may help you seem super cool to your coworkers, odds are no algorithms on Monster.com are using that specific word or phrase when telling recruiters to look your way.

For example, if you’re looking for a technical position, include the specific names of programs you’ve worked with and are familiar with. Use phrases like “mobile”, “iOS”, and “Android” instead of just mentioning one or referencing phone support. Think of how you would be explaining the position to a recruiter in layman terms, and then use those same phrases and keywords in your resume. Having the correct wording will help things standout to recruiters while they scan your resume, and that could make all the difference.

Do Not Use Template Resumes. Sure, resumes can be tricky to write if you aren’t doing it day-in and day-out, and sometimes using a reference can be extremely helpful. Use a guide you find online as simply that, a guide.

Odds are hundreds, if not thousands, of people have used this same template. Follow it too closely and your resume might as well be their resume. We see 100’s of resumes a day with the same exact font, the same exact tables, and the same or similar wording. That doesn’t make you stand out from the pack-- even with the best experience in the world this will land you smack dab in the middle of it.

Be Specific. But not too specific. We want to know what you did in your last job, it matters, and it’s completely relevant. What we don’t want to know via your resume is how you like your coffee in the mornings, or what story Sharron told around the watercooler on your first day. Explain the responsibilities of your job, highlight what makes you a sought-after candidate, and save a little something for the interview.

Take Your Resume Online. This doesn’t just mean throwing a resume up on a job board and crossing your fingers. Take the time to craft your LinkedIn profile to be as stellar as your resume (yes, this matters!) Your digital footprint is as important as your paper one, and if we can’t find you on LinkedIn but we can find the guy who submitted his resume right after yours, and his LinkedIn is awesome—well guess what? You just got beat out.

LinkedIn has a great tip guide for making your LinkedIn page all-star status. Check it out.

Include Your Contact Info! This seems like a no-brainer, at least that’s what we thought, but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget to include simple things like their contact info on their resume. No email address listed? Don’t expect an email from your next employer. No phone number? Don’t expect a call. No last name? We aren’t going to bother trying to find any additional info.

You put your resume out there because you want to hear about new opportunities, we want to contact you because we want to tell you about them. Help us help you.

Hopefully this short guide will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes we see made on resumes on a daily basis. Keep checking back on the RedStream blog for more tips and tricks to landing your dream job. 

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