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Top Ten Resume and CV Blunders

Professional resume writers, recruiters and human resources professional have their work cut out for them. Every day they see resumes that fall short of the perfect reflection of a candidate's talent. In addition, as hard it is to get a job these days, no one wants to sabotage their career opportunities - either purposely or accidentally. Whether a resume blunder is the result of a careless error or intentional deception, the price of a lost career possibility is too high to pay. Take a look at the ten biggest mistakes that happen more often than they should:

  1. Leaving out contact information

    This one point is at the top of the list for a reason. When an employer has no way to reach you for an interview, what good is a resume? Most of the time they won't bother to send out a search party or investigate methods to find you. It can be frustrating to look at the resume of what could be the ideal candidate and not see a way to reach you. Ditto for wrong numbers, expired email addresses and disconnected telephones.

  2. Typos in grammar and spelling

    These common errors are too easy to avoid. Carefully proof every document several times before sending it off to someone. Ask another person to double or triple check it for you to be on the safe side.

  3. Questionable dates

    When writing your dates of employment in the work history section, make sure they do not overlap, leave gaps unaccounted for or otherwise show inconsistencies.

  4. Too much information

    Sometimes it can be easy and tempting to provide too much information on a resume. Prospective employers are not interested in seeing entire job descriptions written out on a resume. The same applies to offering too much personal information like age, sex, race, religion, height, weight and weight. Don't include memberships or affiliations with groups and organizations that indirectly disclose the same type of information. At best, it is irrelevant. At worse, it can offensive to the reader and eliminate you from consideration.

  5. Useless information

    The rule here is that if you are in doubt, leave it out. The categories that we're speaking of are hobbies and outside interest that have nothing to do with the job. See #4 for more of items that can be classified as useless. People sometimes include useless information to pad or fluff up a sparse resume. Most employers know all the tricks.

  6. Not customizing each resume

    Using a resume template as a guide is fine if it is used only as guide. What you don't want to do is make it appear so universal that it comes off as generic. Some of the formulas are so well written that everyone uses the same wording and a trained recruiter will know your resume is not a work of your own. It is okay to have one core resume that can easily be revised for every different position. Employers appreciate seeing a resume that is written specifically for their open position.

  7. Dishonesty

    Stretching the truth will only take a candidate so far, if he or she is willing to take that risk. However often it happens, it's never a good idea. Outright lying about academic credentials, promotions, job titles and skills you don't have simply are never worth the risk.

  8. Unprofessional phrases and personal information

    Reconsider using a personal email address that may be very impressive to friends but makes an employer think twice. Hotbabe, MrMuscles and Homeboy@anywhere.com requires the use of another email address. The same rule goes for slang words and acronyms that can me misconstrued by the reader. Use an email address that simply spells out your name or initials or something equally safe.

  9. Too long

    No one has the time to sift through a resume package that includes two or three pages, letters of reference, transcripts and work samples. A simple resume and one page cover letter should be sufficient. If an employer wants too see more information, take it as good news when they ask for it.

  10. Avoid Comedy

    The last blunder speaks to all the resume writers that try just a little bit too hard to be noticed. You know who you are. Please resist the temptation to be amusing, funny, witty or entertaining. Your resume will be passed around but not for the reasons you want. It's not funny when the resume of a serious job candidate is the butt of jokes or winds up as a hilarious interoffice email forward.


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