The top 7 pet peeves recruiters have about your resume

Recruiters and Hiring Managers, view thousands of resumes every year. We share the top pet hates of recruiters and what to avoid at all costs.

Dense Paragraphs

Avoid lengthy or thick blocks of text, as they are difficult to read for recruiters.  If you have a lot of information, present them in multiple and segmented paragraphs, so large chunks of text is broken up, which in turn makes it easier to read.

Hint: If a recruiter is faced with a difficult to read resume, they are less likely to read it thoroughly.

War & Peace

If you have a resume running into 6 pages or more, with every piece of information available in relation to your work history, then contrary to popular belief, recruiters are not going to be impressed, they are going to be frustrated and annoyed.

Recruiters and Hiring Managers are always pressed for time and will just see this type of resume as a chore and nuisance.

You need to get the message across tightly and succinctly and ONLY include information that is relevant to the position you are applying for.

Spelling Mistakes

I know we are telling you to ‘suck eggs’, but remember to spell check your document and get a third eye to look at your resume. If competition is tough, your resume will end up in the dumpster, if it contains blatant and silly spelling mistakes.

Difficult to Read Fonts

Again, like dense paragraphs, don’t make the job of the recruiter harder, by including a difficult to read font. When it comes to a font, there are no strict rules, so long as the font is readable, (that is you don’t use something like Bernard MT Condensed, or Apple Chancery), or it meets any mandated employer requirements.

Zero Achievements

Seriously you have no achievements? Recruiters genuinely want you to succeed, as there is a big fat fee involved. But with no achievements included in your resume, you have just made their life more difficult, even if you possess all the relevant skills and qualifications.

Not including all the key requirements of the job in the top third of the 1st page of your resume

Don’t make the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s job more difficult by hiding the most relevant information. Take this job advertisement.

Duties and Responsibilities: 
Reporting to the two Partners, the duties and responsibilities of this position include:

Manage a portfolio of clients (SME and National sized clients) 

Prepare tax returns to clients

Prepare BAS, IAS and financial statements for clients

Respond to client queries (first point of contact)

Provide business advisory and tax strategies to clients

Requirements To Apply: 

At least 5 years’ public practice accounting experience

Completed Bachelor of Commerce degree

Confident in liasing with clients


If you were an accountant applying for this role, then you would need to ensure that all the information highlighted above was contained on the first page of your resume. The easiest way to do this would be to slot this information into a profile and skills list.

Using a Functional Format

A functional resume format is a resume that focuses on your skills and experience and does not provide a chronological layout. Recruiters generally hate this type of format, as they want a chronological format, so they can quickly determine whether the experience is recent and relevant and identify any potential problems, such as large gaps in the employment history, or job-hopping.

If you are a chronic job hopper, or do have large gaps, our recommendation is to use a combination resume, where you highlight all the relevant skills and experience, before providing a chronological layout.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Colette North says:

    Hi Caroline – thank you for sending this information out, I do read all of your articles and have found them very useful

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