Friday, September 14, 2012

Resume Review - Don't Make These Mistakes

Editor's Comments: As a former recruiter, I can't tell you the mountains of resumes I've reviewed. Admittedly it's been a while.  For many in the job market today, they may be entering it for the first time or it's been awhile since they've been in a search and many may need a brush up on the best way to construct one.

I have a guest blogger this week - he's a pretty official guy in the area of career and resumes.  He lends his resume expertise in this post. Please share and if you're a recruiter, I invite your comments! In the spirit of the 1%, possibly 1 thing could make a difference in a resume not going to the circular file. Thanks Erik for the post.

Items That Have No Place on Your Resume
Did you know that the average time spent by a prospective employer for scanning a resume is 30 seconds? Within those 30 seconds, you need to charm the employer and get through to the interview with nothing but your resume. The obvious deduction from this fact is that you need to keep your resume simple, clear, and to the point.

A successful resume will have the right balance of structure and simplicity, and the right amount of information to draw the interest of the employer. If you add irrelevant information, then you disrupt this balance. If you do not provide enough information, your resume does not stand a chance either. The pressure is intense, but you should consider removing the following points to make your job a little easier.
Remove your ‘objective’ and put a ‘professional profile’
Not many employers actually look at the objective of the resume. What they would appreciate a lot more is a small and succinct paragraph that says something about your background and indicates your strengths. This sets up your resume as proof of the statements you have made on your profile, showcasing your accomplishments and roles.  You can check out: to see quality examples of professional profiles in action.
Avoid fluff
Fluff and superfluous words may make you feel more important, but they just turn off employers and prompt them to reject your resume. Several resumes strangely use the words ‘dynamic’ or ‘visionary’, and they are only appreciated if they add value to a resume. If they do not offer any real value, make it a point to stick to simple words and facts. If you do want to use those words, then back them up with facts.
Use one telephone number instead of several numbers
No prospective employer would want to call you on several numbers or remember your phone number when you need to be contacted. Keep things simple by putting up only one phone number and making sure that you attend phone calls on that number.
Avoid discriminating information
Many employers are actually forced by corporate policy to ignore any resumes that have discriminating information on it. This information includes age, sex, marital status, ethnicity, and religion. This also holds true for a photograph on a resume, unless your appearance is important for your job, such as a TV anchor, model, actor, etc., or if the employer directly asks for the photograph. This is usually done by corporations that want to avoid lawsuits because a rejected applicant who gave this information can claim that the company discriminated against him or her.
Add only specific educational information
Some people think they should go all out on their education qualifications when writing a resume. After all, it is one of the most important parts of a resume. However, the best advice for writing this section would be to keep it simple as well. Add only relevant information, such as the degree you received, the institute/s you attended, the course you majored in, your GPA, etc. A graduating year is not actually necessary, and neither is the name of the institution/s from where you transferred out, or the name of your high school.

Guest Blogger Info: Erik Larson is a master’s level career counselor and an internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International. He was also recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors. He owns

This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness


  1. Excellent advice!! Because it makes the job seekers to prepare a prefect resume, by avoiding the mistakes.

     Sample Resume Template 

    1. Yep Gene - it's great that it's very specific!