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8 Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid...

8 Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid
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1. Bad formatting.

"Formatting is more important than you know. Since decision makers are only glancing at your resume a few seconds before deciding whether or not you possess the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job in question, it's important to have your work history displayed in a way that will keep their attention long enough to extend an offer to interview.

2. Including an objective.

Often, they're just a waste of space--talking about what you want rather than what you can do for the employer. Since they're an older convention, they can make you look out of touch.

3. Focusing too much on just one job.
Sometimes this makes sense, but at a big company like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, with hundreds or even thousands of openings, making your pitch exclusively for one job means you're less likely to be considered for other roles in which the company might think you're a better fit.

8 Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid

4. Being irrelevant.

Don't list every position you've ever held and never include entry-level jobs or anything more than 10 years old. Remember, if you give them an unedited data dump of everything you've ever done or thought, you're leaving it up to the recruiter to analyze the information and arrive at the conclusion that you're the perfect "fit" for the job. Unfortunately, he or she is not going to do that for you. Instead, paint the picture you want him or her to see.  

Note: If you absolutely insist on including decade-old experience, just include the "company, job title, and date"--no further details. List only the positions that are relevant to the one for which you are applying. In other words, spare them the details about your paper route (or frame that information so its relevance is immediately apparent).

5.  Reusing a resume for multiple positions.

It's easy to use the same resume when applying for multiple jobs. It's also easy never to get hired. Instead, you need to tailor each resume you send out to a specific position. The only exception here might be a new graduate applying for entry-level jobs. 

6. Rattling off your former responsibilities.

This is one of the most common resume mistakes. People list the things they were "responsible for" at their old jobs, but don't explain what's more important--what they actually accomplished. Here's what the hiring manager really wants to know:  

  • What did you work on?
  • How responsible were you for the design, execution, and outcome?
  • How much technical skill did you have/need to do that job?
  • How much independent judgment did you exercise?
  • What was the outcome/result?
  • Did you progress to successively more responsible positions/assignments?
  • How well did that prepare you for the level of responsibility involved in the job for which you're applying?  Close match?  Stretch?  

7. Saying that references are "available upon request."

Would you refuse to provide references if asked? Of course not. Moreover, decision-makers often will conduct a thorough background check--talking with the references you provide, but also reaching out to other people you've worked with, but didn't list.

8. "Proficient in Microsoft Office."

This is the 21st Century; of course you are. People assume you can use word processing software, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint. In fact, focusing on MS Office rather than more recently developed tools can make you look old and disconnected.
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