Resume Blunders

If you include information about time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss on your resume, I wouldn’t spend time waiting by the phone to get a call for an interview. It is very important to make a first impression, but if you want to make the right impression, you should find out what employers are really looking for in a candidate.

Forbes recently published an article entitled, “The Most Outlandish Resume Mistakes of 2013,” which yielded some interesting treasures (like the jail time) submitted from hiring managers, representing what NOT to do when adding the finishing touches to your document. Let’s let other people’s entertaining mistakes lend some valuable advice to keep in mind:
Resume listed the candidate’s online video gaming experience leading warrior “clans,” suggesting this passed for leadership experience.

Your document should highlight various types of leadership skills you have, along with strength areas that give the reader an idea of what kind of leader you are. However, you should make sure this experience happens in real life, not in the magical World of Warcraft.

Resume’s “Skills” section was spelled “Skelze.”

Typos kill. Check, and recheck, and then check again. Otherwise, you will surely be judged for your negligent atention to detale.

Resume consisted of one sentence: “Hire me, I’m awesome.”

We recommend you look for ways to stand apart from the stack. Spend time shaping compelling and customized content that shows off your strengths, skills, and ways your experience will benefit the prospective employer. There are many professional, more thorough ways to imply your awesomeness.

Resume included pictures of the candidate from baby photos to adulthood.

Even in the digital age where an employer can most likely find your image on LinkedIn or Facebook if they wanted to, it is actually illegal in the United States to include your picture on a resume (as it violates EOE laws). But I bet that candidate was already dreaming of his first paycheck while eating Spaghetti-O’s in the highchair. Adorable!

Resume listed the candidate’s objective as “To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI’s like my current employer.”

We hear from many employers that a resume objective is not as necessary as they used to be, especially if you have included a tailored cover letter that matches your experience to the position.  You should be able to communicate some specific reasons a position is appealing, just maybe in addition to your desire that your boss not be a felon. I would think that would be understood to most professionals, therefore unnecessary to highlight.

Resume didn’t include the candidate’s name.

Oops. We usually say your name should be the biggest, boldest item on your page so it catches the eye and allows the reader to submit it to memory. Your resume has a lot of text, so your identity should stand out. And, you know, be ON your resume.