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Resumes:  Top 5 Blunders

  1. One Misspelled Word
    All it takes is one, and your resume is thrown in the garbage can. So, take four steps to make sure this does not happen: First, use the spell checking feature of your word processing program. Second, read your resume backwards, word by word. Third, have a friend read your resume. Fourth, have a friend read your resume backwards, word by word.
  2. To specify or not to specify
    There are times to include a Job Objective and there are times not to do so. The problem is, there is no trustable concensus among people who give advice about resumes. In general, if you are young and new to the job market, a Job Objective can help. If you do include a Job Objective, do not waste space on the resume with a bland statement, such as: "A position with a progressive organization that will fully utilize my talents and skills." Instead, describe what you want clearly, yet be concise. It will show that you are focused. Also, don't quote a job description back to an employer. Personalize your document to help them distinguish you from all other applicants.
  3. My measurements are ...
    In the US, employers have no legal right to request personal information such as age, sex, race, religion, marital status, health, physical appearance, or personal habits. Don't include such information in your resume, including your social security number, past salary, or a photograph. An exception to these rules about privacy is often made for industries such as theater, law enforcement, and the military.
  4. Am I inconsequential, or am I a God?
    You are neither; you are unique, skilled, and valuable. Write a resume that shows this. Don't be shy, but don't lie. And don't exaggerate your experience. The misrepresentation will come back to haunt you in the interview or on the job.
  5. I can't tell you enough about me ...
    You only have so much space on the resume, so don't expect to include everything. Besides, employers only want highlights. Decide which items are most important from the point of view of the employer. Additional material may be covered in letters and interviews.

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