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Resume Writing Tips - How Not To Write a Resume

Resume Writing Tips from Recruiters and Hiring Managers

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A recent poll of technical recruiters and hiring managers asked for the top "pet peeves" - things they see on resumes and cover letters that make them less interested in speaking with a candidate. These make great examples of how not to write your resume.

  • Use of the current "tense" in all jobs on the resume.
  • Writing the resume or cover letter in the third person.
  • Too many grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Use of tiny, tiny fonts (10 pt or less) so as to cram as much information into the resume as possible.
  • Photos on resumes (this is a cultural preference).
  • A listing of their personal interests and activities.
  • Sending a resume attachment named 41808res.doc - use your name or descriptive label.
  • Writing the resume using table formats (columns).
  • Using a resume that is password protected (without sending the password).
  • Including references - but not professional ones - just friends and co-workers.
  • Having no contact information on the resume or including a phone number that is no longer valid.
  • When a candidate's email address is not appropriate for the work environment. Example: BigFoxyMama@.com
  • Resumes that are too long. Most seem to feel that general descriptions pertaining to work history for the last 10 years is sufficient.
  • Resume stuffing, for example, listing of every software application you've ever touched as a "skill".
  • Education written so its not clear if the degree was obtained.
  • Job hopping, which could be contract positions but it's not explained. (If you have been on short term contracts, make sure you clarify that they are contract jobs).
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