Office assistant & office manager résumés that will fail

April 17, 2018 Categorized in: Advancement

by Bart Turczynski, Zety

You want to write an office support résumé that gets you a better job. And that’s exactly what you’ll be able to do in five minutes.

If you need a reference point on what makes for a great office support résumé, have a look at this office assistant résumé example (or, if you’re already in a managerial position, double-check how you compare to this sample office manager résumé).

Confident you’ve got a solid résumé? Think again.

There are several important deal-breakers you need to focus on to make sure your résumé doesn’t end up in the discard pile on the HR manager’s desk.

1. Résumés with typos will fail.

We all get it: typos are bad. How bad? More than half of decision-makers will auto-reject your application if they notice poor spelling.

Typos happen to all of us, sure. However, the more of them you find, the less you respect the author (unfortunately, this also holds true for this author.) Recruitment is all about sieving out as many applicants as possible. Don’t make this job any easier for companies than it already is.

Interestingly enough, there’s some data suggesting that typos are a greater turn-off than college prestige is a turn-on. And, yes, you can get a great job without a formal education.

2. Generic résumés will fail.

Writing a résumé isn’t really about writing a résumé for a position. It’s all about this position. See, 36% of recruiters and hiring managers will reject applications that don’t feel customized and don’t address their needs. If you want to work for a Michelin star-rated restaurant, you can’t send in a half-baked cookie-cutter gingerbread man. The same holds true for your résumé.

3. Résumés with no skills list will fail.

Some experts feel that skills lists are dead. If so, they are walking dead. About 35% hiring managers want to see a skills section on your résumé.

So, why the hate? Skills lists usually read like overly-generic and way-too-long wish lists. You need to prove you’ve got what it takes by including the most important and relevant skills in bullet points describing your responsibilities and achievements.

Only then, does a skills list make sense: it doubles as a convenient checklist! Also, don’t ignore those soft skills. Demand for soft skills keeps growing.

4. Résumés with lazy keyword optimization will fail.

You need to use keywords from the job description verbatim, but naturally. Go too hard and you’ll look like a lazy spammer. Need proof? Résumés that copied a large amount of wording from the job posting will be rejected by 32% of staffing managers. Mirror the language of the ad, use the right keywords, but never-ever copy-paste whole phrases.

5. Résumés without a cover letter will fail.

We all love to hate cover letters. Career sites claim that cover letters are dead. They’re no longer relevant. No one needs them and no one reads them.

The truth? Depending on the study, between 26 and 56 percent of decision-makers expect to get a cover letter or consider cover letters to be almost as important as tailoring your résumé. This suggests that ridding your résumé of typos, customizing it for each opening, and writing a cover letter are crucial to getting your foot in the door.

Key Takeaway

Here’s a quick list of résumé fails that will cause companies (percent) to instantly reject your application:

  1. Résumés that have typos—58 percent
  2. Résumés that are generic and don’t seem personalized for the position—36 percent
  3. Résumés with no list of skills—35 percent
  4. Résumés that copied a large amount of wording from the job posting—32 percent
  5. Résumés that have inappropriate email address—31 percent
  6. Résumés that don’t include exact dates of employment—27 percent
  7. Résumés on decorative paper—22 percent
  8. Résumés that include a photo—13 percent

As for cover letters? Data varies, but not writing one simply works against you: there’s a lot to lose and nothing but 15 minutes of your time to gain.

Apply these crucial résumé tips and get that job!