Disguising a spotty job history is a losing strategy, especially if you want to increase your chances of getting a job.
Here are five resume tricks to forget:
Using a functional resume instead of a chronological resume. Don’t consider using a functional resume to hide weaknesses in your work history — employers will know right away that you’re trying to disguise limited or outdated work experience. Using a functional resume is a red flag.
At the same time, many employers dislike the functional resume format because it makes it difficult for them to understand a candidate’s career progression. Employers are more likely to call other good candidates with a strong work history who use the chronological resume format.
Shrinking the margins and fonts to shorten your resume. If you want to shorten your resume, cut content instead of shrinking the font. It’ll be more difficult for the employer to read your resume if the font is illegible.
Shrinking the margins can dilute your resume’s impact — reading a resume with barely any white space is a headache. Make the resume’s content stand out and keep the font at 11- or 12-point size.
Avoiding age discrimination by leaving dates off your resume. It is important to show dates of employment as a standard part of a resume. This information should always be provided to let employers know how much experience you’ve acquired over time.
Using keywords to get through resume-screening software. Many companies do not use screening software. Forget about inserting obscure keywords — they will only have a negative impact on your resume.
Using a fancy resume design or template to stand out. Create a great resume using your skills and qualifications rather than a decorative resume template. Using “creative” fonts can backfire on you, if the employer finds it hard to read your resume.
At the same time, using complex templates can limit the content you can include in your resume. Employers always prefer clean, uncluttered documents that will be easy to scan and read. Don’t choose appearance over qualifications when it comes to building your resume for success.