Hiring Managers "Spell out" the Biggest Deal-Breakers Regarding Job Candidates' Resumes

Survey Reveals: Spelling and Grammatical Errors Top the List of Resume Blunders

NEW YORK (February 14, 2018) – Although job seekers often complain about their resumes falling into a “black hole” without receiving feedback from hiring managers, new research conducted by TopResume sheds light on the most likely reasons. Between February 6 and February 10, 2018, TopResume, the largest resume-writing service in the world, asked 379 former and current recruiters, hiring managers and human resources executives, “What are your biggest resume ‘deal-breakers’ that can cost a candidate the job?” and a large majority (69%) confirmed the top 10 biggest blunders. In fact, these mistakes could lead to hiring managers dismissing a candidate from the decision-making process — before they even finish reading the resume.

“We’ve all heard you never get a second chance to make a first impression, which is especially true when submitting your resume,” said Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume, a certified professional career coach (CPCC), and a certified professional resume writer (CPRW). “Our recent survey reveals that job seekers may be sabotaging their chances with a hiring manager or recruiter, for mistakes that would take them only a minute to correct. The truth is that they simply don’t know what the recruiters want, which is a source of growing frustration for candidates.”

Below are the results from TopResume’s recent survey revealing the top 10 resume deal-breakers, according to this group:

  • Spelling and/or grammatical errors (79%)

  • Incorrect or missing contact information (52%)

  • Unprofessional email address (46%)

  • Outdated or irrelevant information (hobbies, age, marital status, etc.) (45%)

  • Failure to demonstrate and quantify results (33%)

  • Annoying buzzwords and/or obvious keyword stuffing (32%)

  • Too generalized/not customized to match job listing (32%)

  • Repetitive words or phrases used in multiple job descriptions (28%)

  • Including a headshot (28%)

  • Format and/or design is too elaborate (28%)

“Not surprisingly, there is a fundamental disconnect between hiring managers and job seekers, mainly because they submit a resume, never hear back, and don’t know why, making it impossible for them to improve their application,” said Augustine. “By educating job seekers about what turns recruiters off — and on — they can always put their best foot forward when submitting their resume.”

Additionally, the survey revealed the top five reasons why job seekers are stressed about their current resume:

  • Using the right keywords to get my resume noticed (68%)

  • Demonstrating my value to an employer (53%)

  • Writing my objective statement/professional summary (47%)

  • Including the right type and amount of information (40%)

  • Customizing my resume for a specific job listing (37%)

To learn how to improve your resume from a deal-breaker to a deal-maker, join TopResume for their hour-long #OfficeHours Facebook Live Chat on February 21, 2018, at 12pm EST, with David Gaspin, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, at Delos. On an ongoing basis, TopResume’s data science team compiles nationwide data from their customers to better understand current behavioral trends in the job market. Visit TopResume’s blog to find out what their next area of research will be.

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf
  • About TopResume

    TopResume, a Talent Inc. company, is the largest resume-writing service in the world, and writes and analyzes more resumes, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles than any other service. Job seekers work directly with professional writers and industry experts to redefine their personal brand and stand out from the crowd during the job-search process. Follow TopResume on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.

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Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf