Former Google Recruiter’s No. 1 Resume Red Flag: ‘There’s Zero Chance You’re Going To Move Forward’

by Gili Malinsky – Find this article HERE in its entirety on CNBC’s website

Writing a powerful resume can seem like an art form in and of itself. And when doing so, there are various don’ts to keep in mind: Don’t misspell words. Don’t go over two pages. Don’t write a list of vague skills without providing proof you’ve actually accrued them.

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For Nolan Church, who’s worked in talent acquisition at companies like Google and who’s currently the CEO of talent marketplace Continuum, there’s one major red flag. “The No. 1 thing I don’t want to see on a resume is probably text bricks,” he says, which is to say “endless streams of text that have a lot of words but not a lot of content.”

When he sees one of those, “there’s zero chance you’re going to move forward,” he says. Here’s his advice on making sure your resume is clean of endless text.

People write ‘three to four sentences per bullet’

Church often sees text blocks under the specific descriptions of each role.

“When people describe what they’ve been doing, they often have a hard time being concise,” he says. Below each job title should be a series of one-line bullets. Instead, people will write “three to four sentences per bullet.”

In today’s world of constant text communication, short, to-the-point communication is crucial. At the office, for example, so much communication happens over email and Slack. “If you can’t succinctly describe what you’ve been doing in your career,” he says, “there’s just no way you’re going to be able to succinctly write in the workplace.”

‘It’s just too easy to use tools like ChatGPT’

There are numerous ways to cut down your language.

“It’s just too easy to use tools like ChatGPT or Grammarly to actually clean that up, to help you not only with punctuation, grammar, but also brevity,” says Church. Both tools are free and ChatGPT offers an app version in which you can input sentences and give prompts like “make this sentence shorter.”

You can also have people review your resume and edit it down. “I fundamentally believe that at least five to 10 people should be giving you feedback on your resume,” says Church. Reach out to people in your network who’ve done well in their careers and ask if they’ll take a look.

Remember, says Church, “my advice would be to optimize a resume for 10-second viewership.” Sometimes that’s all the time an HR rep will have to dedicate to your resume. Short bullets and sentences will give them a chance to get all of the critical points of your career immediately.

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Check out:

Former Google recruiter’s No. 1 job interview tip: ‘The best candidates that I meet’ do this

Companies are starting to care more about skills than degrees — here’s how to still make your resume stand out

How to format your resume the right way, according to experts: ‘The standard template is 3 sections’

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