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How to Put Together a Resume, Part Deux: Mistakes

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Your resume gives the very first — and if not done properly, last — impression a prospective employer will get of you, as both a person and as an employee. Here are some resume mistakes — don’t make them! DON’T include every job you ever had on your resume. Once, long ago, I was interviewed for a position as assistant to a film producer. Being young and naive, I listed on my resume every job I had held since I started working at 16 — including that first job, with McDonalds. My reasoning was,  I wanted to show I had been constantly employed since I was a teenager. Instead, the producer saw the McDonalds job, and spent the rest of the “interview” making fun of me. I didn’t get the position. Not every employer is as much of a jerk as that guy. But prospective employers are only interested in jobs you have held that are related to the position for which they are hiring. Personalize your resume to your industry or career — and if that leaves gaps, be ready to explain them. For instance, I have a two-year gap in my career as a web designer and writer. I was teaching high school. I don’t include that on my resume, but when employers ask what I did for those two years my answer is ready. DON’T make your resume a laundry list of job duties and skills. Don’t list every responsibility you had at a particular job. No employer wants to search through a long list of skills and experience, hoping to find what he or she needs. Distill each position down to a list of the three-to-five most important responsibilities. You’ll have a chance to discuss the job in greater detail at the interview. DON’T list your skills and certifications at the bottom of the resume, or on the back. Make a concise list of your skills, especially computer skills, and put them at the top of your resume, right after “Objectives.” The key word here is “concise” — you can go into greater detail at the interview.  A resume is a brief précis of your career, not a lengthy autobiography. Do you have a resume mistake to share? Let us know in the comments! Read How to Put Together a Resume — Part 1

How to Put Together a Resume, Part Deux: Mistakes by
Authored by: Erik Even