3 Resume Mistakes That Drive Me Crazy
3 Resume Mistakes That Drive Me Crazy
Today you should declare your independence from three types of resume mistakes that prevent you from ever receiving an invitation to interview.

Mistake #1: Bury Important Information

The most important information in your resume or cover letter, aside from your name, is your contact information, the type of job you are applying for and your qualifications for that job. You want your contact information to appear at the top of the page and in a readable font.

In resumes and cover letters, I am appalled when job applicants waste opening paragraphs by (a) describing their personal history (“I moved to this area 3 years ago after living for 20 years in…”) or (b) making excuses (“I left my last job after two weeks because…”) or (c) offering other information no one asked for (“I am a very youthful 50 year old…”).

Instead, the opening paragraph of a resume or cover letter should summarize your strongest pitch for the job you want.

Hiring managers and recruiters are most interested in knowing what job you are apply for, whether your qualifications match their needs and how to reach you. If you cannot bother telling them right up front, why should they bother searching?

Mistake #2. Refuse to Share Information with the Resume Writer

I admit it: I am not a mind reader. In addition, I have not followed you around as you climbed your career ladder. So if you do not tell me what you did in the past, when you did it and what you accomplished, I have no way of knowing.

My job as a professional writer of resumes and cover letters is to present information in the strongest, most accurate, most concise manner and to demonstrate your value to hiring managers and recruiters. To do that, I rely on your old resumes and information supplied through interviews and questionnaires. I cannot invent a resume out of thin air—that is the job of a novelist, not a professional resume writer.

Mistake #3. Reject Professional Advice

My credentials as a professional writer of resumes and cover letters include many certifications, mentoring of other writers and years of success. I am delighted when job applicants take advantage of my expertise and allow me to help them. I am less delighted when they quarrel with my advice, from signing up for a professional email address to making sure their resume is adapted to computerized Applicant Tracking Systems. Often, they counter my advice with wisdom from their families and friends; but love and good intentions are not the same as professional expertise.

The days when applicants needed an objective on their resumes; when it was enough to list the tasks performed, without bothering with accomplishments; when everything absolutely had to fit on one page—those days are gone. I write resumes for the 21st century, not the 20th.