Fatal Resume Errors

It’s often said you only get one chance to make a good first impression and at no time is this more true than during an employment search. A recent survey from Careerbuilder.com found that on average, more than 75 resumes are received by hiring managers for each open position. The sheer volume of the competition means that your resume is the single most important piece of paper that impacts not only your immediate career path but also your long term livelihood and future.

If you are representing yourself with anything less than a visually appealing, professional, well written and formatted resume, then you have already sabotaged any chance of standing out from the crowd.

Read below for some tips on how to avoid making fatal errors on your resume:

  1. Proofread! Eliminate poor grammar, typos, misspellings, etc. A sloppy resume says you’re careless.
  2. Length. Anything over two pages is too long.
  3. Avoid vagueness. Quantify your results.
  4. Plagiarism. Don’t pattern your resume after the same examples everyone else uses. Hiring authorities get bored with look-alike resumes. Be creative and different-but only to a point.
  5. Use proper paper. Any color other than white is unacceptable.
  6. Clichés and buzzwords. Don’t use words that you think should sound “smart.” Hiring authorities are not impressed with “utilize,” “flexible,” “team player,” and “seeking an opportunity for me to grow and develop.”
  7. Tiresome details. If you’re well into your career, skip those college summer jobs. As you advance in age and up the corporate ladder, pare down your resume. Nobody really cares that you worked your way through college waiting tables, especially when you’re applying for an executive position with a securities firm.
  8. Lying. First, you don’t lie because it’s wrong. Second, you don’t lie because if you get caught, you won’t get the job.