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Most of my first half at work was spent  screening resumes for a position of Test Analyst today. Needless to say, I was excited as it was my first experience!  89 seemed to be huge number for one position and I thought it would take forever to go through so many and shortlist a few.  Before opening the first one, my mind started estimating…the tester in me is used to this, you see. I planned to spend fair enough time on each one and decided 8-10 minutes should be ok. It would take me 14 hours to go through all of them which was way more than I could afford on this task. So, in a confused state of mind, I decided to give it a go just like that without a pre-decided time-frame. Little did I know, I would finish much sooner than expected.

There are umpteen number of resources referring to common resume blunders, but for this post,  I will write about the ones which made me move on to the next one quickly today.

Without any further adieu, moving back a few hours in time when I was sitting with a laptop in front of me all set for the first one.

Fortunately, I have a particular skill as pre-requisite for selection, which will hopefully make my task much easier. The skill is mentioned in bullet point in initial section(introductory/Profile summary/Cover Letter) of few resumes, which makes me genuinely interested in the profile. But , more than once, hitting CTRL + F with the skill set is showing only one occurence!!  If someone mentions a significant skill in key skills section, why is there not enough detail provided?? This will only increase one’s  chances of being called for an interview.

Some are not escorted by a cover letter and I find there is a lack of keywords or there is no  visible effort to make them stand out for the reader.

As I continue, I observe lots of them have more responsibilities than achievements!  I would talk more about my achievements/tasks/accomplishments, period.

I find Typos/ spelling mistakes/ grammatical errors which are  big turn-offs. I do not reject a resume straight -forward most of the times but develop a certain uneasiness about it!

Astonishingly, I see quite a lot flaunting unwanted decoration/formats/layouts. Does a resume really need a fancy border, fancy font or too many contrasting highlights. I can even see overlapping texts in one! I am distracted too much in some cases and losing interest in the real thing mainly because it seems there was a lack of interest on the other side too!

Atleast in couple of cases, the font is too small, almost unreadable.  It is a bit surprising to see a resume using 2 fonts for normal text.

One thing I quickly glance upon is the vertical page scroll-bar every time I open a new one. If it’s too short, I sigh and try to prepare myself for a long one.  Some of them are 8-9 pages long which makes me wonder what the content could be. When I dig deeper, I realise there is more  information about the company/project rather than the applicant’s work. Short & sweet  is what I wish to see. I am also not very keen to know personal details/hobbies or ANYTHING which does not prove the applicant more apt for the position. And yeah, no personal references please!

It’s also worth noting some resume file names have got versions in there. I am least interested in knowing which version it is and what date was it last updated! Just the applicant’s full name with Resume as prefix or suffix would suffice. Some of the emai-ids are also interesting, have things like smarty and cool in them. I am sure it is not impossible to get a more professional one.

It’s less than 3 hours since I started,  just finished reading the last one and have shortlisted 13 out of 89. And I have a checklist of  unforgivable resume sins for next time I apply for a job

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