The Seven Deadly Sins (of Resume Writing)


If you've ever been on a fishing expedition, you understand the most successful fishermen use the best, best-suited bait available. There is also the most lines (and hooks) in the drinking water. A job search is similar to an angling expedition. Your resume symbolizes the bait, and each business that you send out your resume represents a collection with a hook that allows you to snag employment. Think about your ideal job as that big seafood, the main one you can't wait around to brag about to your close friends, the one that didn't get away, as well as your claim to fame!

Just simply because a fisherman must utilize the best bait to attract that big fish, job hunters must use the right resume to attract that big job opportunity. Within my profession as a Corporate Recruiter, I've had the chance to review a large number of resumes. Some of these resumes have already been stellar; the resume is formatted professionally, well crafted, and portrays the applicants in their best light. However, I have also experienced the unfortunate opportunity to review a few of the worst resumes ever written! Some of these resumes were so very bad they have received honorary status on my list of the seven most severe things I have ever seen on a resume. These prospective candidates committed what I contact the "Seven Deadly Sins of Resume Writing":

Poorly formatted resumes: Once in a while employed in my position as a Corporate Recruiter, I receive resumes the old-fashion way, through the U.S. Postal Support, or as many people call it nowadays, snail mail. Although this is not my preferred solution to receive resumes, I don't typically keep it against an applicant; until the resume is indeed badly formatted that it is unreadable. Or, a whole lot worse, the resume is usually hand-written! Lately, I received a handwritten resume for an administration position. There is absolutely no way that I'd ever forward a resume of this nature to a potential employer. No matter what sort of resume is submitted, it should be professionally formatted, edited for misspelled terms and grammatical mistakes, and definitely ought to be typed! Beware! The many misspelled term on resumes (and my biggest pet peeve) can be a manager; if the word is usually spelled as a manger, spell check does not catch the error!

Inappropriate pictures: In the last five years I've seen a definite upsurge in resumes that add a picture or pictures of the candidate. Interestingly, hiring managers appear to possess a difference of opinion about the addition of pictures; some hiring managers seem to appreciate having the ability to visualize a candidate while reading over the candidate's qualifications, whereas others appear to think that it's a distraction. Individually, I am not a big fan of the practice, as I have noticed the most inappropriate photos that you could imagine! For example, I've received resumes submitted by woman applicants where they are photographed with brief skirts or displaying their d├ęcolletage. I have received resumes from man candidates where their pictures suggest to them in informal attire (angling hats, swim fits, etc.), or even worse, in images that include their entire family. Nevertheless, the most inappropriate picture that I've ever seen to a day on a resume was one that included a nude picture of the candidate's genitals! Not only is usually this the most inappropriate picture imaginable, but I must also say it is very creepy!! In case you are inclined to add a picture on your resume it must be professionally photographed, and really should include a mind shot with an ordinary history in professional attire. My professional opinion is certainly that in case you are in question about the appropriateness of an image, usually do not include it!

Personal information: The 3rd Deadly Sin of resume writing is usually including personal information about a resume. I am discussing personal figures such as age, marital position, sexual orientation, the number of kids one has within their family, and spiritual beliefs. Although in a few countries, specifically Middle Eastern countries, it is expected that applicants list this info on their resume, this is simply not so in the USA. Personal information shouldn't appear on a credit card application of employment or an individual resume. Legally speaking, this private information is protected beneath the USA Civil Rights Take action of 1964, which makes it unlawful for an interviewer to request any questions relating to these personal topics. With the addition of these details to your resume, not merely are you are putting yourself able to end up being discriminated against, nevertheless, you are placing the recruiter in a precarious scenario in regards to the legislation. This might just trigger the recruiter to spread you as an applicant!

Employment history with no dates: As a recruiter, when I visit a resume of a potential candidate without dates accompanying the work history, my initial inclination is to believe that this candidate will need to have something to cover up. Why else would these dates be left off of a resume? Are there big gaps in employment? Maybe the candidate trying to hide the quantity of experience they already have? Has this applicant only had short-term work? Inquiring minds are going to need to know! By leaving dates from your resume, you are simply creating more do the job, along with the recruiter, because most recruiters can not only require these dates in an interview but may also question that you resubmit your resume with dates included. I have never, and can never, ahead of a resume to a hiring manager that's missing these essential dates of employment!

Unrelated personal interests and hobbies: In the past, when writing my first resume, I recall being directed to include my hobbies in the bottom of the resume. These hobbies were supposed to display that I was a well-rounded, interesting person. However, that is no longer typical. Just as adding an "Objective" to your resume is normally outdated, therefore is adding your interests. Recruiters simply want the reality of your experience associated with the position. Once again, you are losing a Recruiters' precious time by adding these small tidbits of private information. In fact, with the addition of this more information incorrectly, you consider the chance of your resume finding yourself in a circular document (the one next to the recruiter's table which has the remnants of their lunchtime!). I've had the unfortunate chance to review resumes of candidates who outlined their passions as "Jazz Hands Aficionado", "Exotic Pole Dancer", and "Cat Whisperer". Actually?? What does which have related to a Sales Manager placement? These prospective candidates weren't selected for an interview.

Links or URLs unrelated to the positioning: The capability to utilize the Internet to use for positions certainly offers allowed prospective candidates to talk about more details about them when compared to a written resume allows. Applicants can attach video resumes, and links to personal websites, sites, and social media pages. My guidance to the practice is: DON'T Perform IT!! Again, candidates operate the risk of earning an uncomfortable professional faux pa. Simply lately, I received a resume with a web link to the candidate's Facebook page. Unfortunately, that same candidate had uploaded pictures compared to that same Facebook web page that demonstrated him, let's just say, within an unprofessional light (drinking, partying, some nudity!) Well, as a recruiter, my status is at risk each time I forwards a resume to a potential employer. I am not going to take an opportunity on a candidate with such poor decision-making skills.

Negativity toward previous companies: Honestly, I never idea I would end up being adding this deadly sin to the list, seeing that I have, in every my years of encounter as a recruiter, never witnessed this until just recently. However, I was so shocked when I received a resume in which a prospective applicant showed their previous company in a poor light, that I understood that I never wished to see this once again! This candidate thought we would list their known reasons for departing each of their previous positions. This is simply not an issue, and, could be very helpful and save a while during the interview procedure (as recruiters are likely to ask those queries anyway). It had been the candidate's reason behind leaving his last work that floored me! He mentioned that the reason why he remaining his last work was that his earlier company was unethical, made bad decisions, and treated their workers horribly. Talk about the poor press for that firm! There is no method a recruiter would take time to interview an applicant who gets the potential of ruining a company's reputation. In the end, if he spoke therefore poorly about his prior company, what's likely to state about his following company?
It is important to keep in mind a resume is your written intro. Although this short set of "don'ts" will not completely encompass what things to compose and what never to write on a resume, potential candidates who avoid these seven deadly sins of resume composing will prevent common pitfalls and also have a better potential for not merely catching the curiosity of the recruiter, but also scoring the interview. Utilize the best bait and you possess a better opportunity of catching the next big job opportunity!

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