How to Not Write a Resume

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On the job hunt, knowing how to write a resume may be of obvious importance, but the significance of how to not write a resume should not be ignored either. A critical mistake in the application process can mean the difference between being overlooked and landing the career of a lifetime. Although it can be said that much of such tips boils down to common sense, countless applicants still make the same mistakes across the business spectrum.

Unprofessional Email Address

Professionalism can be a difficult concept to gain a complete understanding of, and many professionals in the corporate world continue to strive for master of the idea. Among its principles includes the paradigm that every detail of a person can be tweaked to reflect an aura of professionalism, even their email address. To put it simply, a clean-cut email address utilizing a real name, something such as “,” is going to immediately command much more respect than something like “”

Typewriter or Template Style

While many word processor templates and Google search engine results can provide the basic framework to begin forming a simple resume, fully relying on a formulaic approach presents a couple noteworthy disadvantages. Firstly, using a generic form will not stand out among a pool of similar applicants; it may actually serve to detract from the content, if the presentation is not noticeable. Secondly, not every person is the same, and each comes with a unique set of prior positions, skill sets, etc., and not every format available is going to fit every individual. A resume should be uniquely and ideally suited for the person it represents, which is sometimes only possible with heavy tweaking of an original template or pre-formatted resume version.

Unfinished and Unorganized

Just as performing any task in the workplace will require a measure of responsibility and diligence, so too should such virtues guide the finishing of a resume. If a template is used, for instance, it should at least be reworked enough to not be an obvious base. If there are any typos or formatting errors on the resume, it will reflect poorly on the applicant, especially since such simple mistakes could easily have been caught on a basic review. If the resume strays so far from a predetermined format as to be wildly disorganized and not fitting any stretch of professionalism or accepted resume style, its creativity would only serve to detract from any hope of lending a positive impression. If someone truly wants to be hired, they should show the same positive work-ethic traits in the completion of their resume that they would hopefully be willing to display every day at their desk.

Remembering how to not write a resume can clarify the tips behind how to write a resume well. The cover letter, resume, interview, and other aspects of the application process all serve the same purpose; that is, to provide the potential employer with a clear picture of the quality of the applicant. A poor resume will make the applicant seem like a poor prospect.


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