Job hunters, here's insight into what employers hate about your applications. Ann Mann, who advises people in job-transition programs at Lee Hecht Harrison, collected pet peeves from a "recruiters' roundtable." The hirers' biggest gripes:
- Applicants who apply for several positions at the same company at the same time. "It's an employers' market. They can be very particular about finding the best fit for each job," Mann explains. "If you apply to several different jobs at once, you look desperate and not discriminating."
- Resumes that go longer than two pages or are hard to read. "Use a clear type font. Don't use colored paper. Don't include a picture. Use bold face to make important things stand out, and organize it logically," she suggests.
- Jargon, abbreviations or titles that don't mean anything to outside eyes. "Don't say you were a PM3 at Sprint," she warns. "Don't even say you were a project manager. That's overused. What kind of project did you manage? Tell me your talent, your accomplishments."
- Misspellings and bad grammar. "Quickest way to the 'out' pile there is," she stresses.
- Generic, confusing or inappropriate summary statement at the top of your resume. "You need to tailor it to the specific job and briefly, strongly state what you can bring to the job," she advises.
- Inappropriate e-mail addresses or phone greetings. "Between Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail, you ought to be able to create an e-mail address out of some form of your name," Mann counsels. "Look and sound businesslike."
- Stalkers. "Be tenacious, but don't stalk. Don't call more than once a day. We recommend every seven to 10 days, alternating between e-mail and phone messages. Keep it short, a positive statement about your continued interest in the job. And remember that your sense of urgency and the hirer's are two completely separate things."