Friday, February 29, 2008

Writing Your Best Resume - Do Not's

Writing Your Best Resume - Do Not’s

Since the resume is a key tool in finding a job, taking some extra time preparing it is time well-spent. While updating your resume on a regular basis is a very good thing to do, there are definitely some “do not’s” when it comes to making a best resume. I am sure the following list is not all inclusive, but represent items that bother me the most:

· Do not give reasons for termination or leaving a job on the resume. The reader can invariably find negative connotations to even the best reason. It is much better to discuss it in person.
· Do not include items like hobbies, sports and social activities. They rarely help in getting the job, and may bias readers against a candidate (e.g., membership in a hunting or gun club could be viewed negatively by someone who is against guns or in favor of animal rights).
· Do not include social security number, spouse's occupation and/or personal philosophies toward religion, politics and related topics (i.e., unless germane to the position applied for).
· Do not list references on the resume. They can easily be provided separately if requested. There is nothing to be gained for candidate or referencing individuals by exposing names of references to prospective employer.
· Do not use exact dates (e.g., 10/23/07). Month and year are sufficient.
· Do not include the date your resume was prepared (i.e., this is auto-formatted in some word processing templates). If your search takes longer than a few months, the resume will appear outdated.
· Do not include height, weight or remarks about physical appearance or health unless somehow germane to the position applied for.
· Do not list high school or elementary school if a college graduate.
· Do not state job objectives on resume unless resume is targeted to a particular job or occupation.
· Do not use professional jargon unless absolutely sure resume will be read by someone who understands those terms.
· Do not provide salary information on the resume, but save it for the interview. If required to provide that information, do so in cover letter.
· Do not lie. If it is discovered before a job offer it can prevent an offer. If it is discovered after being hired, it can result in loss of job.

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