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Most Frequent Resume Mistakes
- Categorized in: Resume Tips
- Including typos and other spelling or grammatical errors: Before you send out your resume, make sure you have proofread it several times. Many hiring managers will automatically throw away a resume that has typos or other errors.
- Lengthy resume: Surveyed managers reported that resumes only get a 15 second review. "More is not better," noted Martha, an HR Director. "Long careers often travel into numerous pages and important accomplishments get lost. We won't read anything beyond a page especially with so many people applying."
- No Dates Listed: From a recruiter's perspective, candidates eliminate dates on their resumes for only one reason: to hide information, such as a history of job-hopping or a long period of unemployment. As an alternative, Mr. Hughes suggests focusing only on the last 10 to 15 years of your professional experience.
- Sending a resume without a cover letter: One of the worst things you can do is send a great resume without an official introduction. Resumes and cover letters should be inseparable. Make sure you don't give up your chance to really sell yourself with a cover letter.
- Poorly organized: Information on a resume should be listed in order of importance to the reader. Don't ask employers to wade through your hobbies first. Dates of employment are not as important as job titles. Education should be emphasized if you are freshly out of school and have little work experience; otherwise, put it at the end. If your resume is difficult to read or key information is buried, it's more likely to be cast aside.
- Lying: Employers reported they are on the lookout for the significant increase in lies or serious exaggerated claims made in people's resumes. Common deceptions include accomplishments, salary, or size of the team managed. Helen, an HR Executive Recruiter inside a prominent company, wrote on her survey form: "Never, ever, lie. One person I hired lied about having a college degree when she did not have one. We fired her when the lie was uncovered."
- Using really small fonts: Really small fonts are hard to read and don't photocopy as well. (That applies to your address block as well.) What's too small? Generally don't go smaller than a 10 point
- Really wide margins with content squeezed in the middle: Your margins should be at least one half inch. You really don't need more than one inch.
- Too personal: If your Web site includes photos of your cat or your personal blog about what you did over the weekend, don't steer prospective employers there by including it on your resume. Keep your personal and your professional life separate in order to be taken seriously.
- Writing in the first person: Your resume is not a personal correspondence, and should not include words such as "I," "my," and "me." Save the first person pronouns for your cover letter.
- Resumes Work Best Unfolded: Use 9x12 envelope if you need to mail it out. The best use of the resume is passed hand-to-hand.
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