How NOT to Write a Resume

There are lots of articles on the internet that provide tips on how to write a resume. Some provide a “do’s” and “don’ts” list of things to add to your resume’. In my experience, however, there are some things that are not covered on these lists presumably because one would think there is no need to point out the obvious. Below are some gems that I have seen in my position that would absolutely fall under the DON’T category. Enjoy!

1)      While it is certainly an accomplishment to become the national champion of wrestling, this feat is not normally applicable to a position you are seeking. Unless of course you won’t to be a wrestling coach.

2)      I love to see that individuals are family oriented, however, “cuddling” with your “hubby” should probably be removed from your list of outside activities.

3)      This one is not is just obvious but so many people don’t do it. You may have a tremendous work history, but please, make sure that your past and present tense match your dates. In other words, if you held a position in 1998, make sure that the description reads –Facilitated weekly meetings; NOT –Facilitate weekly meetings. It may seem simple but adding an “ed” to a word can make all the difference.

4)      Some companies have a key word search for certain positions. If you are aware of this add the key words in with your resume. I find it quite amusing when a resume comes to me marked as a perfect candidate only to find a list of 50 words on the last page. These resumes are subsequently sent to the pile to be recycled.

5)      I like the look of flowers as much as the next person, really I do. However, it is not necessarily a good idea to add a row of them to the margins of your resume’. You want to attract attention to your experience, not your creativity.

It seems like these would be obvious “don’ts” on a resume’. Unfortunately, these examples occur far too often. Next time you are updating your resume’ (which should be often) read it over and ask yourself, “Is this information relevant to the position?” You can have a generic resume’ but always tailor it to the position you are applying for.

Until next time,

The HR Recruiter

The HR Recruiter has over 3 years’ experience working in Employment Services and Human Resources. He is currently working on his Masters of Science in Human Resource Development at N.C. State University. He is also a member of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). 

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