Want to get hired at Google (or any other desirable employer)? Chances are, you won't, because your resume is getting in your way. Not because you didn't phrase things just right, or you failed to do something that would make you stand out from the crowd. Not even because it isn't well written. It's because of some extremely simple and unbelievably common mistakes that the majority of job applicants make.
That's according to a LinkedIn post by Laszlo Bock, co-founder of Humu, a startup that promises to use machine learning to help make employees happier and more productive. Before starting Humu, Bock was senior vice president of people operations at Google, where he was when he wrote the post in 2014. But nothing Bock wrote has changed since then, and the post is currently growing in popularity and getting passed around, likely because it's just as true now as it was then.
Bock writes that he's reviewed more than 20,000 resumes and that Google routinely receives 50,000 resumes a week. With that level of influx there has to be some quick way to eliminate large numbers of contenders and so Google automatically bounces all resumes that make one of five simple mistakes--even though that often means eliminating highly qualified job applicants from consideration.
You can find the full list here. These are the most common errors.
Who would be stupid enough to send in a resume with typos in it? A lot of people, it turns out. Bock references one survey that showed 58 percent of resumes have typos in them.
How can people be so careless? Actually, it's the opposite--an excess of carefulness--that's the problem, Bock explains. "People who tweak their resumes the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error, because they often result from going back again and again to fine-tune your resume just one last time."
Do this a few times and inevitably, a word will drop out or a period will get repeated. Because you've read the thing so many times you practically have it memorized, your eyes will skim over the document and your brain will not notice the errors. The only really good solution is to have someone proofread your resume for you.
2. Sharing confidential information
As an employee, you have access to information your employer doesn't want you to share. But sometimes it's very tempting because that information could really impress your next prospective employer. So, Bock writes, some people try to get around confidentiality rules by sharing information without actually spelling it out--for instance: "Consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington."
Bock writes that 5 to 10 percent of the resumes received at Google share information that should be confidential, and it's cause for automatic rejection. That kind of thing "tells me, as an employer, that I should never hire those candidates ... unless I want my own trade secrets emailed to my competitors," he notes.
Lying on resumes is very, very common. So much so that 26 percent of people under 40 admit to doing it, and 85 percent of hiring managers say they've found lies on resumes that they've received. And it can be seen very harshly. Bock's definition of lying covers a lot of things that many would consider "fudging," such as claiming you have a degree when you were actually three credits shy of completing it.
He says lying even a little on a resume is a very dumb thing to do because with internet research, nearly everything you claim can be verified. And--precisely because it is so very common to bend the truth--if your resume is perfectly accurate, that in itself will make you stand out from the competition.