Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Resume Mistakes to Avoid

I received an email from the Wall Street Journal with the subject line "The Ten Worst Things to Put on Your Resume." The email linked to an article with this title, which explained that 28% of executives say the resume is where most job seekers make mistakes. Here is a list of the ten mistakes the article advises job seekers to avoid:

1. Unnecessary Details About Your Life: The only personal details that should be included in your resume are your full name and contact information, including email, phone number and address.

2. Your Work Responsibilities as a Lifeguard When You Were 16: Work history should be limited to professional experiences you have had in the past 10 to 15 years.

3. A Headshot: Unless you are a model or an actor, your resume should not include a picture. Employers cannot discriminate based on appearance, so including a picture could put them in an awkward position.

4. Salary Expectations: These should be kept out of the application process unless an employer specifically asks. If an employer does ask, you should give them a range.

5. Lies: Always represent yourself as accurately as possible, including an accurate timeline of your work history.

6. Things That Were Once Labeled "Confidential": Don't use inside information from previous jobs to pad your resume. The prospective employer will know that you can't be trusted with sensitive information and your current or former employer may find out, which could result in dismissal or a lawsuit.

7. If You Were Fired From a Job -- and What You Were Fired For: Your resume should present you in a positive light, so you should not include this information. However, if a prospective employer asks your reasons for leaving a job you should be straightforward.

8. Overly Verbose Statements: Your resume should sell you, but not overstate the importance of your job responsibilities.

9. "References Available Upon Request" and Your Objective: You don't need to state that your references are available upon request, but you should have them lined up for when an employer asks for them. The objective statement is not necessary unless you are a recent graduate or changing careers.

10. TMI: Including too much information on your resume will burden the resume reader and may result in your resume not being read.

To read more about these common mistakes, click here.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I thought that this was really helpful! As an upcoming senior and soon to be graduate it is easy to be lost in the resume building world, full of questions and concerns on the perfect resume. I like that a real professional gave tips on how to make a better resume based on what the professional world wants, and not based on standardized rules.