The Top 10 Ways To Scare An Employer With Your Resume

scare employer with resumeBy Sean Weinberg

There are plenty of occasions where it is perfectly fine to be a little scary. Halloween, scary movies, and when your friend has the hiccups... all great opportunities.

However, you never want to be scary in your job search. With the job market as tough as it is right now, scaring away a valuable networking contact or employer is something you simply don't want to do.

Unfortunately, there are a number of opportunities that might make you appear more scary than qualified. Your resume is a big one. Check out these 10 ways your resume can scare away employers (so you can avoid them at all costs)!

1. Make a ton of typos

Nothing says "I'm unprofessional" more than a resume riddled with spelling and punctuation errors. Even if you wrote your resume carefully, you'd benefit from proofreading or having a friend proofread. Glaring typos are especially harmful for folks looking for a position in a writing-intense profession like journalism, public relations, or administrative work.

2. Go generic

The job search is a lot like dating. You want to "woo" the employer, make them feel special. While generic resumes are awfully convenient, they tell the employer you're not that invested in the position.

Check out: Trick or Treat! 4 Ways to Make an Unsolicited Resume Employer-Friendly

3. Be demanding at the start

Use your objective statement to spell out all of your expectations for the job. Mention pay requirements, benefits, and responsibilities to scare all employers away. Employers want to know what you can offer them, not what you want if you get the job.

4. Write lengthy paragraphs

Employers spend somewhere between thirty seconds to a minute scanning your resume. Bullet points and keywords are easier to read than the block-o-text some resumes sport. Nobody wants to read a novel, so keep it short!

Check out: The 4 Most Obvious Resume Rules You Forgot to Follow

5. Go for two, three, or four pages

As I wrote in the tip above, employers don't have a whole lot of time to read your resume. When it goes onto multiple pages, they're even less likely to read what you have to say because (a) they're not going to find all the info they need immediately and (b) they might lose multiple pages.

6. Pick a wacky, illegible font

If you Google "resume fonts", you will find a lot of debate about whether Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or some other font is best. Whatever you choose, just pick something that is easy to read (Comic Sans need not apply) and popular on both Mac and PC.

7. Send it as a Microsoft Works file

...or a .txt, or some other equally offbeat format. If an employer can't open the file you send, they aren't going to read it. They probably won't even tell you that they can't open it either. After all, how many other resumes do they have in their inbox right now? Your best bet is .pdf or .doc.

8. Include a lot of useless details

Understand that an employer wants to know what you can do and if you're a good fit for their company. They don't want to read about your blood type, your favorite color, or your freshman year class schedule. Save extraneous details for your Facebook page.

Check out: RezScore's 4 Favorite Resume Hacks

9. Send it for a job you aren't qualified for

Nothing is scarier than an inbox full of applicants who aren't qualified for the position. If you almost meet the requirements, it's up to you. However, if you aren't qualified, then you're just wasting you and the employer's time.

10. Pair it with a scary cover letter

Last, but not least, pairing an OK resume with a scary cover letter is just as bad as having a scary resume in the first place. Your cover letter should serve as an introduction to you and be persuasive enough to get an employer to read your resume.

What do you think? What other spooky tips do you have for job seekers looking to scare employers away with a resume? How can that be avoided? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Sean Weinberg is the COO and co-founder of RezScore, a free Web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes - instantly. Also the founder of Freedom Resumes, Weinberg has dedicated his career to helping job seekers write the best possible resumes. You can connect with Sean and the RezScore team on Facebook and Twitter.

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I think ALL the job sites putting info out there should KNOW what they are talking about.. I have been told by "Professional" recruiters that having a multiple page resume is necessary for most people who have extensive years in the workforce WHEN IT APPLIES TO THE JOB YOU ARE APPLYING FOR... AND!! Job sites are the ones asking for the .txt formats.. If you give them a .foc or .pdf format, and you have a higher formatted layout, then they do not import correctly, and the layout comes out a mess.

I think you should put some more focus into the SCAMMING and PHISHING that thieves are using these days to steal your info.. It is NOT just about WORK FORM HOME, there are many COMMON things going on that are used to steal your identity.. I have received emails from MANY companies posing are recruiters for MAJOR companies, who I research and find out they are NOT a legit company... They are not asking for all my personal info, not sure if they can tell I will not give it based on my resume.. Or if they are looking only for my name and address, and maybe email address to do something with it.. But if I am having these type of scams happening, then I am sure MANY others are also.. And finding info about it online is NON-EXISTENT..

November 01 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Generally the message of the article is OK, but to the point of professionalism and typos/grammar errors, even this article's writer and editor(s) seemingly allowed for spelling/grammer errors; See the last sentence of Item No. 9 above...shouldn't "" be "...your's..."?

Practice what you intend to preach, or your lesson is diluted.

November 01 2011 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CommentsOfReason's comment
Kayla P

It should read "your" because you would be wasting your time and the employer's time.

November 01 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WTF with # 7 -- If I request something from someone and it comes in a file that I can't read, damn sure I'll ask the sender to (if they can) resend it in a file that I CAN read. Common sense (something that is lacking in today's SOCIETY, not just the working world).

November 01 2011 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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