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Resume Writing mistakes

The Rogue’s Gallery of 25 Awful Resume Mistakes

By Ronald L. Krannich Ph.D.
Courtesy of Impact Publications

Many job seekers are their own worst enemies when it comes to writing the all-important resume. Some make stupid mistakes or do embarrassing things that distract from their qualifications. Most of these mistakes guarantee that their resume will be "dead upon arrival." Make sure your resume clearly communicates your qualifications to employers. Here are some of the worst mistakes resume writers are known to make.

  1. Includes marital status but crosses out "Married" and writes in "Single" to indicate change in status.
  2. Applies for a middle management position but resume does not include related work experience.
  3. Begins with the word "Resume" nicely centered at the top of the page.
  4. Includes height, weight, age, and race.
  5. Reveals parents' occupations.
  6. Includes salary requirements—"I need $70,000 a year."
  7. Writes a 5-10 page resume.
  8. Sends the resume on a computer disk with a cover letter instructing the recipient on how to access it.
  9. Covers a five-year gap by saying "Worked my way around the world" or "Incarcerated."
  10. Objective states "Interested in doing lots of things and advancing my career."
  11. States "Summer abroad in Paris" under "Work Experience".
  12. Includes a photo with spouse, two children, and the family dog.
  13. Handwrites the resume thinking this is the ultimate "personal touch" to reaching the employer!
  14. Confesses to being fired from the last three jobs.
  15. Begins each sentence with "I . . ."
  16. Misspells the words "Education," "University," and "Experience."
  17. Prints resume on bright, eye-catching paper—red, pink, yellow, or green.
  18. Tapes the resume to the inside of the envelope so it won't "fall out".
  19. Mails resume in an unstamped envelope—employer gets to pay the "overdue postage".
  20. Sends a 20-page resume in a #10 (business size) envelope—it really does pop up when opened!
  21. Does not include a cover letter because the writer believes the resume "says it all."
  22. Scribbles handwritten comments on the resume in lieu of a formal cover letter.
  23. Attaches transcripts and self-serving letters of recommendation from friends and former employers.
  24. Forgets to include address and telephone number on the resume.
  25. Handwrites note on back of envelope indicating address and phone number on resume has changed.

© Copyright 1998 Impact Publications