Monday, May 15, 2006

Five Biggest Resume Mistakes You Can Fix Your Self

By: Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.

A career consultant can diagnose and overhaul a troubled resume. But you can check off many of the killer mistakes yourself.

Mistake #1. "The mystery applicant." No contact

Fix: List a daytime phone number and email address, right at the top of the page. Create a professional-sounding message for your answering device.

Mistake #2. "The scrunchie." Loads of detail crammed together in eight-point type.

Fix: Add lots of white space, avoid tiny type and use bullet points instead of long paragraphs. If you've got a story to tell, most employers will happily turn to a second page.

Mistake #3: "The snoozer." Obituary of a boring employee.

Fix: Sell yourself by focusing on accomplishments.
Demonstrate the impact of your achievements. Describe actions, not obligations.

Mistake #4: "The expressionist." Doesn't follow the rules and sets off alarm bells.

Fix: Choose chronological rather than functional resumes, especially if you use traditional job-hunting sources: HR departments, recruiters, and advertisements. Off the beaten path, use a sales letter or network your way to in-person

Mistake #5: "Creative language." Spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

Fix: Proof-read and ask a friend to help. Computerized spelling and grammar checks won't catch everything. A carefully-prepared resume will stand out more than you can imagine.


This article was posted at on 2003-12-31. Webmasters and publishers are free to reprint this article as long as the resource box and all the links remain intact.