I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes over the past ten years and have to say, 90% of them are lousy. Here is a list of 21 things NOT TO INCLUDE in your resume–eliminate these and you will be closer to creating the best resume possible.
Lies–today, almost any lie can and will be exposed, so while your resume is a marketing tool where you need to show your skills in their best light, do not make anything up. Show your accomplishments in their most positive light, but don’ t exaggerate your contributions.
Don’t include a picture of yourself, handsome.
Delete “References on Request.” That is implied and the hiring manager will request them if and when they are needed (a good thing because that means you are being seriously considered).
Or better yet, submit your references along with your resume–most people don’t do this and it might set you apart from the pack.
Don’t fail to include a cover letter. That is the default, whether the ad you are responding to mentions it or not. It doesn’t have to be in MS Word or pfd format, it can be in the body of the email. Your email subject line should clearly indicate what is inside, such as “Application for Construction Manager position”
Delete “Phone” or “Cell” when it precedes your phone number; the hiring manager knows what a phone number looks like J. Same with “email:”
Delete “Hobbies and Interests” unless they are directly related to the position you are applying for.
Delete your year of graduation unless its recent, and don’t list your high school unless it was recent and you didn’t go to college.
Don’t list your GPA unless you got a 3.75 or better.
Don’t list your age, marital status, social security number(!) or number of kids.
Delete “MS Outlook” “email” and “Internet-savvy” in the skills area. It’s 2012–Australian Aborigines in the outback with no roads know how to use the Internet. You know how to use email? Wow that sets you apart!
Delete “Telephone skills” and “Filing skills” Really? You know how to use a telephone? That will impress the hiring manager. And since when is Filing a “skill?”
Use this: “(213) 555-1212” instead of this: “Phone: (213) 555-1212”
Only list one phone number and one email address on your resume
Choose your email address carefully: Don’t use the email of your current employer. (You’d be surprised, it happens all the time). While HotSexyGuy1972@gmail.com is a fine email address for the babes, for your resume you want something more conservative. Note: Use gmail or hotmail; don’t use yahoo.com or aol.com. Trust me on this.
Don’t include every job you’ve ever had…that 6-week stint selling shoes when you were in college probably isn’t relevant. Go back 10-15 years at the most.
Don’t use emoticons or any other popular texting lingo. If your resume includes “LOL” or ROTFL get rid of them. Right away, please.
$10 Words. Obviously you must use professional tone, language and words, but your goal should be to write at 10th grade level. Remember, your resume is a marketing document designed to sell the hiring manager on YOU.
Don’t include a “Job Objective.” Ten years ago, an objective was standard on most resumes. Recently, the entire world collectively realized that the objective adds no value to the resume and takes up valuable top-of-page real estate, so it has been replaced with a descriptive job title and summary of qualifications, usually.
Hint: rather than naming your resume file with “resume.doc” name it with the more descriptive and personal “John Smith – Experienced Medical Assistant Resume.doc.”
Please, no matter what, don’t use Comic Sans Serif or any other cutesy font. Trust me, just don’t do it. Use Times or Arial. Verdana or Garamond if you absolutely insist on being fancy. For most fonts, 10 point is too small and 12 point is too big. 11 point is just about right.
Don’t do anything crazy with the layout and formatting. I also suggest not using the standard resume templates that come with MS Word. Experienced hiring managers have seen them time and time before. Be original or hire an expert to help you.