Creating a résumé may seem relatively simple, but you might be surprised by some of the things hiring managers say are big no-no's on résumés. They say they see these mistakes all the time. <p>
Here are their tips on how to avoid making a fool of yourself the next time you send out a résumé.
Too many details
Details you can leave out, according to Nancy Shuman, chief marketing officer at <a href=http://www.lloydstaffing.com target=”_blank”>Lloyd Staffing</a>, include multiple phone numbers (one is good, preferably a cell with a professional sounding greeting), reference names and contacts, salary by position, and addresses of companies or schools. Shuman said employers can always ask for this data later.
"Know the line between good information and too much information," said Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of <a href=http://www.flexjobs.com target=”_blank”>FlexJobs</a>, a job service site for finding flexible employment. "I once had a candidate apply for a job, and listed on his résumé under 'Awards & Honors' was 'Pig Wrestling Champion – multiple wins in the large pig division.' This information, while it did most definitely differentiate the candidate, wasn’t in the least related to the job at hand, and was more of a distraction than a positive addition to his application."
"Many people make the mistake of adding a photo of themselves to their résumé, thinking that their good looks will help get them an interview," said Brooke Bakalar Sloane of marketing agency <a href=http://www.golinharris.com target=”_blank”>GolinHarris</a>. "However, a company legally cannot consider your picture in determining whether or not you are qualified for a position, and thus many companies immediately discard résumés with photos."
"Using Comic Sans, Papyrus or any other cheesy font screams 'I don't know what I'm doing,'" said Garry Polmateer, principal, information strategy company, <a href=http://www.redargyle.com target=”_blank”>Red Argyle</a>.
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Cute email addresses
Inappropriate or "cutesy" email addresses, are a no-no, say Kyra Mancine and Stacey Bershod of catalog company <a href=http://www.qcidirect.com target=”_blank”>QCI Direct</a>. "Get an email address that is professional to put on the top of your résumé," they write. "Seeing 'firstname.lastname@example.org' or whatever is not going to win you any points in the job search."
"Don't put strange hobbies or interests on your résumé," said Kevin Spence, president of <a href=http://www.careerthoughts.com target=”_blank”>Career Thoughts</a>, a career guidance website. "There are better ways to show off your individuality. I once had an applicant who mentioned on his résumé that he was a marionette and knife collector. Those may both be legitimate hobbies, but my 'serial-killer alarm' went off. He may have been qualified for the position, but he didn't get a call back."
"I don't think you should put your elementary school on your résumé," said Elaine Simon, assistant manager at <a href=http://www.DeBebians.com target=”_blank”>EFA Diamonds</a>. "Of course, I am interested in any college degrees a candidate may have, as well as any vocational training."
Too much blank space
"I'm not saying to make it so wordy and crowded that it looks like a newspaper, but having a résumé that is only half a page tells me that you don't have enough job and/or life experiences," said Brenna Smith, founder and CEO of <a href=http://www.shenow.org target=”_blank”>SheNOW</a>. "Even if you've never had a job, you should at least have volunteer work, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, etc. Don't submit a résumé showing only your objective and education."
A second page
"One should not have a second page unless it's simply listing references or is something that provides an example of what the résumé itself references," said Sean Smith, president of advertising agency <a href=http://www.takethirdstreet.com target=”_blank”>Third Street</a>. "If you can't get your résumé down to one page, it sends a message that you lack the ability to communicate in a succinct manner – which is becoming increasingly crucial in our bullet-point, social media world."
"Take great care to get work dates, titles and responsibilities consistent and correct," advises Patrick Lynch, president of career consulting firm <a href=http://www.frontiergroupusa.com/Default.aspx target=”_blank”>The Frontier Group</a>. "I have seen clients who have had inconsistencies between their résumé and LinkedIn cause them issues when interviewing. I have also seen the worst-case scenario where a job offer was rescinded because one of the candidate's job titles was not corroborated by their past employer."