More Stuff to Leave Off Your Resume

Posted: 07/28/2010 in Resumes
Tags: , , , , , ,

In my “Top Ten Items to Leave Off Your Resume” post, I included, well, items to leave off your resume. Here are some more:

  • Spelling and grammatical errors – yes, we know you’re an engineer and not a writer. Big whoop. It still won’t help you. Get someone who IS a good writer to proofread. Better yet, two or three someones.
  • Photos or graphics – even if you look like Brad Pitt, employers don’t want to see your picture on your resume unless you are, in fact, applying for an acting or modeling gig. If you’re not, they’ll just think you’re goofy. Same goes for images or symbols of any kind. Even if you’re a graphic artist – employers will want separate samples of your work, rather than artwork on the resume itself.
  • Objective – The worst ones are the totally noncommittal statements that are so general they say absolutely nothing. “Seeking a challenging position that allows me to use my skills.” What skills are those? Your skills at bullshit? Not that those skills don’t come in handy. Chances are, though, you’re not going for a job as a fortune-teller, so don’t expect employers to read your mind. Even if you get more specific, employers need to see more of an emphasis on what you can do for them, rather than what you want. Guess what? They don’t really care what you want. At least not before they know and love you. Don’t take it personally.
  • Lies – employers can expose them pretty damn easily. And it won’t be pretty.
  • Referring to yourself in the third person – Talk about goofy. It looks like either  a.  someone else wrote your entire resume, which doesn’t look too good,   b.  you have multiple-personality disorder, or c.  you have a Seinfeld fixation.
  • Trite, so-over phrases sure to make employers gag, such as:
    – “people person” – do people really still throw that one out into the
    – “results-oriented professional” – anyone can say that about
    – “organized” – ditto.
    – “excellent communication skills” – double ditto.
    – “team player” – unless you actually play for the Red Sox. But then,
    if you do I’m guessing you wouldn’t need a resume.
    – “quick learner and multitasker who thinks outside the box” – how
    many cliches can we toss into one bullet?

The main thing is – show, don’t tell. Give vivid, concrete examples of the above, rather than stating them like they’re the Gospel According to Saint Job Seeker.

  1. Andrew Hall says:

    I’m a: results oriented professional who’s organized people person’s ways are amped by his excellent communication skills, but it’s important to point out I’m a quick learner who thinks outside the box.

    Will I get the job?

    • Maybe, but the person who hired you would probably need to join Cliches Anon for enabling you.

      Hey, did I forget to include “think outside the box?” I really really wish that phrase would bite the dust already.

  2. missdisplaced says:

    I don’t know about #2 (I am a graphic designer). I was not called in for an interview because the person said my resume was not “pizazzy enough” for a creative person. I was very well qualified for this job (in fact almost overqualified).

    I know this because a friend of mine works there.

    • You may be right with some employers – it also depends on how you’re asked to send it; graphics can be problematic in terms of uploading properly, especially if you’re not sending your resume specifically to a design firm. If you have an online portfolio (I’m assuming you do) with samples, it should also include your online resume, which definitely should be snazzy.

      Sorry you didn’t get an interview with that company, but chalk it up to their loss – your job is coming!

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