Writing your own resume can be extremely difficult – it’s hard to be objective. You want to include everything about yourself so the potential employer can get a good sense of who you are. This will be a resume killer, as some information should never be included. Also, there are many common mistakes that job seekers make when writing their resume. Below are the top 10 mistakes that people usually make. As common as they are, they are the primary reason resumes get overlooked.
Top 10 Resume Mistakes:
1. Including an objective statement
Objective statements are now outdated. There has never been a proper funeral – many people are unaware that they should not be included on a resume. The objective statement should be replaced with a strong headline, followed by a concise summary and core competency list. The summary typically serves as the focal point of your resume and is usually the first thing that an employer will see and read.
2. Using your overly personal email address
If you have an email address that is anything but your name (and a few numbers if your name isn’t available), it should not be included on your resume. Overly personal email addresses are a top killer of resumes. For example, if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, you need to retire it for your job search. Make a new email address that consists of your first and last name. This email address should be included on your resume and it should be used for all job search-related correspondences.
3. Disclosing why you left your previous jobs
Reasons for leaving your previous employer(s) should never be included on your resume. The information should only be furnished upon request. When it is time to provide this information, you should never badmouth a previous employer and there is no need to go into every detail. Just remember: always be honest.
4. Adding your personal hobbies and/or life story
Including personal information, hobbies, political affiliations, etc is completely unnecessary and should not be on your resume. Many people add sports teams that they are fans of, political campaigns they volunteer(ed) for, or other information that may interest them – but it doesn’t interest or matter to the employer. This information is personal – it should not be brought into a professional document and you should not provide any information that could cause conflict.
5. Including your references, salary history and/or salary requirements
This is information that should only be provided to an employer upon request. Providing your salary history or requirements too early can cause you to be immediately eliminated from the running for the position. Your references will get annoyed if they are receiving too many calls and you do not want to waste them too early in your job search. Employers do not expect references to be included when you send your resume. If you are a contender for the position, they will ask for them (or you can present them at that time).
6. Using first or third person references
You should always refrain from using any first or third person references in your resume. The words “I”, “me”, “my”, “we”, etc are resume killers. Also, employers get annoyed with third person references. It will hurt your credibility and significantly decrease your job search success rate.
7. Not including keywords
Employers are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to weed through resumes. These systems look for certain keywords – and if your resume doesn’t include those keywords, it won’t be seen. It is extremely important to integrate keywords throughout your resume.
8. Including a photograph, your birth date, etc.
You should never include your photograph or birth date on your resume. Equal Employment Opportunity laws prevent employers from discriminating based on age, race, ethnicity, etc. A photograph will typically show these characteristics and your birth date will provide them with your age.
9. Adding your high school/middle school/elementary school
Your high school education should only be included on your resume if you graduated within the last few years or you are still in high school. Your middle school and elementary education should never be included. This information is irrelevant and can show your age (based on your graduation year).
10. The word ‘resume’
The employer will know your resume when they see it. There is no need to include the word ‘resume’ on the document and doing so actually annoys the hiring or HR manager.
Many professional resume writers will provide free critiques of your existing resume (and most are honest). As a professional resume writer, my main goal is to get people back to work and help them land the job they need and deserve. I have always told potential clients when they didn’t need my help and I have always let them know if their resume is in need of help.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for assistance. You will always be better off consulting an honest resume expert rather than a friend or family member. Should these well-intentioned people unknowingly provide false information, you could suffer the consequences. Good luck – and be sure to stay positive and keep focused! There is something out there that is meant just for you.
Marissa Letendre is the owner of Resumes by Marissa. She is a professional resume writer and job search strategist, as well as a former Human Resources Manager.
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Category: Personal Branding