September 12, 2011

When submitting your resume, don’t make these mistakes!  According to a recent survey, hiring executives indicate the resume is where most job seekers make mistakes in the application process.  So…if you are trying to get past the first round of your resume review, pay close attention to ‘what not to put on your resume’.

1. The Obvious…No Lies 

Always represent yourself as accurately and honestly as possible.  This goes without saying as usually any omission or misstatement on your resume (when checked by your prospective employer) may immediately take you out of the running. 

2.  Personal life

You should only include: full name and contact information, including email, phone number and address. Leave all other personal details off the resume.  If your prospective hiring manager wants more information, they will ask.  Use your own good judgment for exceptions to the rule.       

3. Omit Photos

Omit photos unless it is common to do so in your industry.  Although photos are present on several social media sites, let your employer discover those on their own.

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4. Limit your Work History

Limit your work history to professional experience only and do not include hobbies or irrelevant job history.  The exception may be for recent graduates or employees with only limited work experience.  You only need to list past 10-15 years of work history unless you have upper level experience beyond that length of time.

5. Salary Requirements

Omit all salary information on your resume and only include in a cover letter if specifically asked by the prospective hiring manager.  Then, of course, give them a range to avoid knocking yourself out of the running.

6. No Insider or Confidential Information

The current prospective hiring manager will know that you can’t be trusted with confidential information if you include these kinds of items from your current or previous employers.  It is poor judgment and could open you up to a potential law suit.

7. No Negative Comments on How You Lost a Previous Job

Omit all negative comments regarding previous employment (if you left under negative circumstances).  BUT…if asked to explain a negative about how you lost a previous job, bite the bullet and tell the truth.  This will not contradict #5 above.  Then, make sure to follow any negative aspects of previous employment by following up with strong positives in that position or other positions.  Put emphasis on the positive – not the negative.

8. Don’t Oversell

Make sure your statements do not oversell or overstate your actual experience or responsibilities.  You want the reader to truly understand what your real responsibilities and accomplishments were with your previous employers.

9. Have Your References Ready

Do not include “references available upon request”.  Instead, have your references ready when asked for them

10. Don’t Make It Hard to Read and Understand Have Only 30 Seconds to Two Minutes to Make a Good First Impression

You only have about 30 seconds to 2 minutes to get the recruiter or hiring manager’s attention.  Make a good first impression by keeping your cover letter brief and do not include too much information on your resume.  Recruiters and hiring managers are busy and will, most likely, only scan your information at best.

11.  OK to Leave Off the ‘Objective Statement’

Usually not necessary unless you are switching careers or have recently graduated.  If necessary, you can include in a summary of your qualifications.


Wishing you success…

Spectra International


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