Unconventional resumes



Of course, you know that typos, misspellings and bad grammar are no-no’s. Hiring managers will eliminate a candidate based on resume mistakes. Be careful of using unprofessional fonts or formatting as well as leaving outdated or irrelevant information on your resume. Remember you have eight seconds to sell yourself. Reading about your hobbies in college isn’t going to get you the job.

Stating the Obvious

By far the worst offender is labeling your phone number or your email address, i.e. phone: 222.333-444 or email: [email protected] Another space waster is References Available Upon Request. Less obvious is using headers like Experience and Education. Unless you have a very long resume or have gone back and forth between academia and business, it is not necessary to label these categories of your resume.

Long Summary

Note that important word: summary. This is your eight seconds of opportunity to sell yourself. Make it happen in one or two sentences, or three bullet points. Every word in this summary is important and could and should be reconsidered for each job you apply to. Make each sentence or bullet point sell your skills and who you are and, really, why they should hire you for this specific job.

Too Many Buzzwords

Not only should you eliminate words like proactive, journey, thought leader, passionate, strategic, motivated and focused from your resume, they shouldn’t come up in your phone or in-person interview either. Use of these words alone make you seem shallow or immature. Describe what your skills are factually by talking about projects and results and avoid resume mistakes.

Using Responsible for…

This is related to the buzzword no-no’s but is so common it deserves its own category. A common resume mistake is making your resume the same as your job description. You want to talk about what you have accomplished, not what you are supposed to be doing but maybe haven’t done.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

This is one of the most common resume mistakes with candidates who have been with the same company for an extended period. You’ve become so comfortable with calling the monthly operational meetings the Brief, you use that term on your resume. You might also use abbreviations for certain in-house models or departments. Don’t. It is confusing and makes your interviewer uncomfortable in having to ask what you mean.

Not Engaging

This is very important. You want your resume to reflect your personality and be either enjoyable or interesting to read. Some try to use their hobbies to add to their appeal, but too many hobbies raises the question, Do you have time to do your job? If you are a little bit quirky, your resume should be, too. No one wants to work with a dry automaton. Ask someone who knows you but isn’t involved in your work to read your resume. Even if they don’t understand what it is you do, do they feel something of your personality coming through the document. If not, work on your wording until it does.

After avoiding these resume mistakes are you interested in conducting a job search? Contact the Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

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