Although some of these examples may seem breath takingly obvious, all of these résumé faux pas make employers, recruiters, and professional resume writers shake their heads and roll their eyes time after time. With research showing that the average prospective employer or recruiter spending only between thirty seconds and a minute reading each résumé that they are sent – if they are indeed read at all, these unprofessional and amateurish mistakes will almost guarantee that your application for a vacant job position will be looked over, no matter how good your credentials or how relevant your previous experience.
The primary school stationery kit: I have spoken to an employer who once received a hand written résumé for an early stages education position using hot pink strawberry scented ink. It certainly made an impression, but not quite what the applicant was hoping for, I expect. You want your résumé to be talked about because of your impressive qualifications and prior work experience, not because the recruiter or potential employer has called around the rest of the office to have a laugh at your embarrassingly unprofessional presentation. Stick to typed résumés in a professional font at a readable size.
The obnoxious inclusion: The same employer also once received a job application through the post in a business sized envelope stuffed with glitter. Cue interview coaching services the world over clutching their foreheads in disbelief. If your résumé requires your potential employer to clean up after it, you will not get the job. It’s as simple as that. Scented or perfumed paper, while recommended by a few self help gurus and other trendy types is a bad idea: it’s bizarre, and you don’t know that the person reading your résumé won’t be allergic to the chemicals in a particular perfume. Even if nothing that drastic occurs, it might just remind them of their problematic ex. Your résumé should try to get you an interview and the job that you want with the compelling text, not any other gimmicky inclusions.
The personals ad: Except for a few industry specific résumé types for jobs in fields such as acting and modelling, a personal photo or your date of birth is neither expected nor welcome in a modern Australian résumé, and professional resume writers in Sydney will never include either of these. Employers should be hiring on the basis of skills and experience, not age or appearance, and including either of these uncalled for details on your résumé will make you seem out of touch with modern workplace practices. Employers and recruiters do not want to be made aware of any personal detail that could leave them open to accusations of discrimination, so make their job easier (which will make them look more kindly upon you!) by not including any. Save photographs and personal statistics for the online dating profile, not your résumé or job application.