Resumes: Five Things Not To Do

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1) Don’t Make It Your Lifes Story

Seriously, I don’t know anyone who wants to spend all day reading through a resume. In fact, you really only get about 2 minutes of the resume readers time. They don’t want details in a resume, they want facts that are easily accessable. That way they don’t have to flip back and forth through pages to find the information they need. Trust me, you can be the most qualified candidate for the job, but if your resume is too long or it’s not easy to locate desired information, then you’ve lost the job already. Keep your resume under two pages, and keep it relavent.

2) Don’t Give Away The Whole Cow Before They’ve Tried The Milk

I know, I know. It’s really hard to avoid the temptation not to include EVERYTHING on your resume. You want to look qualified, skilled and ready for the job. You want to make sure the resume reader knows you’re not green and you have what it takes. The problem though, is that leaves no mystery at all, which makes you boring. I know it seems backwards, but a resume is like a first date on paper. They want to know the major important stuff, but they don’t want to know everything right then and there. Just include what is up to date, relavent to the job and important for the specific position. Sure it was great that you did hundreds of jobs for your last employer, but for now, just include five or six jobs you did more often then not. If they want or need more info, they will ask, and it won’t look bad if it’s not on your resume.

3) Don’t Downgrade Yourself

You’re trying to get a job, not trying to win a humility contest. Don’t include jobs that didn’t last for more than a few weeks, or ones where you got fired. They don’t need to know that, and if they really think they do, they will ask. Leave out any troubles you’ve had with prior jobs and don’t worry about what you need to work on. You know your faults and your strengths, your resume reader and/or potential employer only wants to know what your strengths are. If you spend too much time telling them how many mistakes you’ve made, why would they want to hire you?

4) Don’t Get Personal

Although the resume is like the first date on paper, that doesn’t make it a time to get personal. They don’t need or want to know how many times you go to the doctor every year, what time your kids are out of school or what your hobbies are. These are great things, but they are not needed on a resume. They take up to much space and the likelihood that the resume reader will even read that part is extremely low. Save paper, save time and get the job by remembering to leave out person info. Keep it relavent.

5) Don’t Give Out Last Years Copy

It’s really challenging not to just make one resume for all time and use it again and again. Sadly, it won’t get you anywhere. For each year, many things happen. We work other jobs, gain new skills, change positions, learn new technology. These things should all be included in a resume and they can’t be if you don’t update your resume from time to time. The best rule of thumb, is to do a little resume tweaking right before you send in your resume to a potential new employer. Customize the resume so that it is specific to the job you are applying for, make sure your termonology is up to date and add in your new skills that are relavent to the position.

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