Top 5 Resume Mistakes That Say “Don’t Hire Me”
Including an Objective Statement
Your professional resume is all about you, right? Therefore, your objective is all about you, too. However, you’re sending your professional resume to a hiring manager—you’re not reading it to yourself in the echo chamber. And guess who the hiring manager wants to think most about? Himself (or herself). Not you.
Here’s my answer: Including an Objective Statement: The Resume Killer.
Telling the Hiring Manager that You Were “Responsible”
When I see the word “responsible” on a resume, I often chuckle to myself that this has to be a copy-and-paste from an HR job description. Human Resources always wants employees to be “responsible” for some task or solution. However, we never know if the job applicant’s resume indicates that the job seeker was merely responsible for something. Did that professional actually do something? Or was that person simply “responsible” for it, never getting around to achieving it.
Putting Your Education before Your Experience
Sometimes, I see executive resumes, or even resumes of experienced professionals, that include decades-old college education in the first line or two of the resume. Clearly, these job seekers must not think much of their professional experience or executive leadership. Why else would they focus on what most hiring leaders would consider a given?
Here’s my answer: Education Goes Last on a Professional or Executive Resume
Including Your High School Diploma
When your Salt Lake City professional resume promotes your high school education, you’re wasting valuable space on your resume. If you have at least one job after high school, any college education at all, or some post-high school technical training, your hiring manager is assuming that you have attended high school. What if you didn’t graduate high school? I’ve written executive resumes in Salt Lake City for senior vice presidents who did not finish high school, or who have obtained their GEDs. Your chances of success aren’t limited by your lack of education—in some cases, going straight to work shows an incredible work ethic. Either way, we don’t need to know about your high school education.
Here’s my answer: Resume Strategies for Executives Who Never Went to College
Poor Resume Design that Makes Your Executive Resume Unreadable
Ever try to read the fine print on a 30-second TV commercial? It’s impossible, because the advertiser typically does not want you to read the fine print. So why would you send a resume in to a hiring manager in 8-point type? Other common blunders include using resume bullet points that are really paragraphs, and paragraphs that should be broken into three paragraphs.
Here’s my answer: Five Easy Steps to Executive Resume Readability
Bonus Mistake #6: Pink Ink and Red Paper
Once, as a child, I wrote my grandmother a letter. In childish handwriting, I scrawled red letters across pink paper. She immediately called me and told me never to use red ink on pink paper, because it was completely unreadable. The same holds true for your professional resume: Do not use red ink (or blue ink, or brown ink, or yellow ink), and do not use pink paper (or blue paper, or green paper). Stick to basic black ink and basic white, cream, or gray paper.