Top 10 Resume Blunders
By Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert
Make sure your resume is in top-notch shape by avoiding the top 10 resume blunders:
1. Too Focused on Job Duties
Your resume should not be a boring list of job duties and responsibilities. Go beyond showing what was required and demonstrate how you made a difference at each company, providing specific examples. When developing your achievements, ask yourself:
• How did you perform the job better than others?
• What were the problems or challenges faced? How did you overcome them? What were the results? How did the company benefit from your performance?
• Did you receive any awards, special recognitions or promotions as a result?
2. Flowery or General Objective Statement
Many candidates lose their readers in the beginning. Statements such as “a challenging position enabling me to contribute to organizational goals while offering an opportunity for growth and advancement” are overused, too general and waste valuable space. If you’re on a career track, replace the objective with a tagline stating what you do or your expertise.
3. Too Short or Too Long
Many people try to squeeze their experiences onto one page, because they’ve heard resumes shouldn’t be longer. By doing this, job seekers may delete impressive achievements. Other candidates ramble on about irrelevant or redundant experiences. There is no rule about appropriate resume length. When writing your resume, ask yourself, “Will this statement help me land an interview?” Every word should sell you, so include only the information that elicits a “yes.”
4. Using Personal Pronouns and Articles
A resume is a form of business communication, so it should be concise and written in a telegraphic style. There should be no mentions of “I” or “me,” and only minimal use of articles. For example:
“I developed a new product that added $2 million in sales and increased the market segment’s gross margin by 12%.”
Should be changed to:
“Developed new product that added $2 million in sales and increased market segment’s gross margin by 12%.”
5. Listing Irrelevant Information
Many people include their interests, but they should include only those relating to the job. For example, if a candidate is applying for a position as a ski instructor, he should list cross-country skiing as a hobby.
Personal information, such as date of birth, marital status, height and weight, normally should not be on the resume unless you’re an entertainment professional or job seeker outside the US.