Home Business & Industry What Recruiters Want and Don’t Want from Your Resumé

What Recruiters Want and Don’t Want from Your Resumé

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Getting employed in a reputable establishment is unlikely without the assistance of a resumé since this document presents your skills, achievements, and experience articulately. But creating this document is relatively tricky since you’re bound to include common unwanted elements that hiring managers despise.

For this reason, this article aims to provide the top things that recruiters don’t want in your resumé, thereby increasing your chances of employment. This information separates the employed from the unemployed, the winners from the losers.

Consider using a resumé builder

Have you ever created a compelling resumé from scratch? It’s tricky since you need to employ the right format, fonts, text size, headings, and more. Without proper training and a lot of practice, crafting a resumé is a hassle.

Fortunately, you can use Resumé Builder Pro to ease the stress and save yourself time. This is possible thanks to the platform providing all the tools you need to make a resumé that works.

Resumé Builder Pro provides you with over 4,000 templates, equipped with the necessary fonts, heading, style, format, etc. You need to remember the relevant details for each heading and insert them. No time wasted or mental energy lost. 

In addition to these templates, you also get access to effective tips on resumé best practices, ensuring your document meets industry standards.

Visit Resumé Builder Pro today and save yourself time and energy when making a resumé for the first time.

Elements recruiters don’t want in your resumé

Here are the top seven things recruiters don’t want to see in your resumé, and these include:

Your picture

No matter how beautiful your eyes sparkle or your skin looks, do not take a picture and paste it on your resumé. This requirement isn’t because employers are robots and can’t appreciate beauty, but because recruiters are careful against factors like discrimination or unconscious bias.

In other words, employers want to reject or accept your resumé based on your qualifications and not for any other factors. Therefore, most hiring managers instantly dismiss resumés with photos as they are unprofessional and unacceptable.

However, some industries can permit photos in your resumé, with some even requiring this factor. Additionally, some countries like France, Scandinavia, and Germany encourage adding photos.

Work history gaps

Work history gaps are when there are periods when you weren’t working at all. In some cases, this factor is considered a sign that you were fired or had quit without switching to a new job, ultimately revealing that you were incompetent or were unable to achieve a work-life balance.

However, other less dubious reasons can exist for why you have a work history gap on your resumé. For example, the recent Covid pandemic left many unemployed for months, eventually leading to a gap in your resumé.

Therefore, we recommend adding some context explaining why you weren’t working during your absence. Some common examples would be taking time off to treat a sickness or spending time with your family.

A common remedy for work gaps is to provide a year of experience instead of separating them into months

Too long or too short

Recruiters have an understandable resumé length in mind, and when your document exceeds or doesn’t meet their standards, it gets discarded.

For example, If you’ve had multiple jobs in the past and gathered many skills, your resumé can be several pages long. On the other hand, if you’ve just left school and haven’t gathered sufficient experience and skills, your resumé may be unimpressively short.

Both scenarios are big turn-offs to employers since they don’t have the time to read a novel-like resumé, and a short one implies you don’t have enough value to present the establishment.

A typical resumé should cover an A4 page, whether you’re a beginner or expert in the field. Anything shorter than this requirement is an immediate disqualifier. However, if you must display your qualifications and experience, ensure it doesn’t exceed two A4 pages.

Fortunately, a template from Resumé Builder Pro can ensure you use the correct resumé length.

Incorrect information

When writing a resumé, it’s recommended for candidates to include facts and figures in their experience section to be more engaging. However, it’s not uncommon to fabricate these figures like ‘Increased customer satisfaction by 34%’ since they’re unlikely to get caught.

Unfortunately, such detail can cause complications down the road, especially during interviews, since applicants may be quizzed on the claim, leading to incoherent statements or experiences they have never had.

Also, even if you get away with a lie on your resumé and interview, it will resurface over time, especially when the establishment needs you to apply a particular skill or experience you claimed to possess on a project.

Keep your statements factual and avoid inaccuracies due to exaggeration or creative storytelling.


In many corporate situations, having your previous employer or someone famous having your back is impressive, but not on a resumé.

The resumé stage assesses you based on your qualifications and experience. If the company needs more information about your efficacy, they will ask for your former employer or colleague’s contact during the interview.

Mentioning references when unnecessarily comes off as aggressive, unprofessional, and repulsive, like you’re trying to bribe your way into the establishment without the necessary process.

Generic skills and vague descriptions

Your resumé’s job is to provide the hiring manager with clear information about you, allowing them to decide whether you’re ideal for the job. Therefore, having empty descriptions and adjectives like successful, intelligent, and hardworking will take you nowhere.

Essentially, anyone can use these vague terms and mean something different from what the recruiter wants, and if such words are prevalent throughout your document, you won’t get the job.

Instead of saying you’re a ‘natural leader’ back this claim up in your experience section with a sentence like ‘managed a team of 15 and increased departmental productivity by 33% within four months of employment’.

A description is more specific, straightforward, and convincing since they’re measurable and consistent with a leader’s corporate definition.

Ensure your descriptions are relevant to the job; don’t narrate your success in Cybersecurity when applying for a sales role.

Creative fonts and formats

Hiring managers are under pressure as they scroll through hundreds of resumés to find candidates worth interviewing. During this screening time, their eyes scan for familiar structures, and anything out of the ordinary will be discarded.

One reason resumés enter the trash before being read completely is for having fancy fonts and creative formats. The recommended fonts for a resumé include Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman, and formatting features the reverse-chronological method and font size 12.

Employers also reject fancy resumés because they’re distracting, childish, and completely unnecessary. It’s not an art project; for this reason, tracking systems are set to eliminate documents that appear to be too stylish.

Ultimately, keep your resumé plain and simple; else, you unintentionally lower your chances of employment.


A well-written resumé is your ticket to employment since it shows your skills and qualifications, making you a worthwhile employer hire. Fortunately, you can create a more compelling document by avoiding the pitfalls listed above. If you need more help with creating the perfect resumé, visit Resumé Builder Pro for easy templates and guides.

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