Caught My Eye: Resume Don’ts

As noted in an earlier post, some people think the resume is history because people use LinkedIn instead but I expressed reservations about that, as did a commenter.

If for no other reason than as a backup, people should still prepare their resumes (called CVs in Quebec).

I found a great summary of issues to avoid when doing so at:

For those not in the mood to click on the link, here is my paraphrasing of things not to do:

(Except for the tip on the color of paper not to use, most of these tips apply as much to online resumes and LinkedIn profiles as they do to printed resumes.)

  1. Make copyediting errors (misspellings, grammatical errors, and misuse of punctuation (stay away from colons–they’re a trap)). That said, errors inadvertently slip through, even among experts.  For example, I once heard an editing manager announce that she wouldn’t hire anyone who made a single error in their resume.  I guess she wouldn’t have hired herself–she inadvertently misspelled her own name.)
  2. Include photos.  (A no-no.)
  3. Print the resume on paper other than white, cream or very light gray.  The article says colored paper, but I saw a study once (so many years ago, I can’t remember where), that found that hese three colors were acceptable (though one–and I can’t remember which–was preferred to the others.
  4. Provide TMI–too much information.
  5. Name references.  The people named might not be the right people to answers the prospective employers’ questions.
  6. Saying “references available upon request.” (I’ve been guilty of this.)  Of course they are–so no need to say it.
  7. “Us[e] buzzwords like results-oriented, team-player, and motivated.”  The expressions are so over-used, they’re vapid.  Besides, who would say on their application that they’re anything less than a good performer who gets along well with others?
  8. Name your hobbies.  That’s individually pursued hobbies, unless they can provide insights into skills and abilities that are relevant to the job . For example, ‘committed Gleek’ doesn’t really say much about one’s skills and abilities, but ‘competitive rower’ indicates that the applicant must take initiative, practices regularly, and works with teams.
  9. Use long sentences and long paragraphs.  The article says they’re a pain to read; but that assumes that hiring managers would even go to that inconvenience.
  10. “Us[e] an unprofessional e-mail address” like
  11. Forget your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  If they can’t reach you, they can’t hire you.
  12. “Address [the resume] to the wrong company.”  That’s like calling out someone else’s name at an intimate moment.  Everyone likes to feel special.

About idmodelsandprocesses

Exploring, reporting, teaching, and advising on learning and communication for the workplace and consumers.
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