Certain resume issues are relatively commonplace. However, even if they are relatively prevalent among the workforce, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t avoid them.
By addressing the resume problems, you can increase the odds that the hiring manager will view you as an exceptional candidate. If you are wondering what issues you may need to handle, here are some that are commonly seen on resumes.
At some point, most professionals end up with a significant gap on their resume. At times, these are involuntary. For example, they may purely be the result of an expected termination or layoff coupled with tough economic conditions.
In some cases, the situation was voluntary. Maybe you stepped away from the workforce to care for a family member or paused your career to pursue an education.
Regardless of the reasoning, hiring managers may consider employment gaps as a red flag. Now, if there is only one, and it’s been a significant amount of time since the gap occurred, you may not need to do much to address the situation. If asked about it, you can give a basic overview of the events that resulted in the gap and then pivot, focusing more on how you rebounded.
If the gap was recent or is currently happening, how you should address it varies. For gaps caused by furthering your education, draw the hiring manager’s attention to that fact in your cover letter or during the interview. You could do the same if you stepped away for a personal reason, keeping your description of the event brief.
If you’re currently in a gap, then work to close it quickly. You could volunteer, allowing that experience to be included in your resume. Freelancing or a temporary position can accomplish a similar goal.
Overly Long Resume
Figuring out how long a resume should be can be tricky. As a result, some professionals assume that more information is better, leading to a large and potentially cumbersome document.
The issue is, if your resume is oversized, there’s a good chance the hiring manager won’t review it in its entirety during any initial screenings. They may miss details that showcase you as a strong candidate, causing them to pass you over entirely.
While you don’t always have to stick with one page, going over two pages should only occur in very specific situations, regardless of your career length.
Most hiring managers shy away from any candidate who appears overqualified. They typically assume that an overqualified job seeker wouldn’t stay in the long-term if they were offered the position, as they could reasonably secure a higher-level role.
What you need to do depends on why you seem overqualified and the kind of position you want to land. If you’re trying to further your career, it’s possible that you need to set your sights higher. That way, you’ll seem qualified without being overqualified.
However, if your goal is to secure a lower-level position, then you need to adjust your resume accordingly and use your cover letter to your advantage. You can discuss why you are interested in the position in your cover letter, giving the hiring manager some peace of mind. Additionally, you can realign your resume with the job, ensuring details that make you seem overqualified are removed or, at least, less apparent.
Find Your Next Contract Pharmaceutical Role
Ultimately, addressing those common resume issues can make a big difference in your job search. If you’d like to find a role that best suits your skills and experience, the staffing experts at Alpha Consulting can help.