4 Horrible Resume Writing Tips To Avoid

There are many self-proclaimed experts claiming to know what’s best when it comes to preparing an effective resume. Let’s face it, anyone who has basic Internet skills can figure out how to type up an article just like this. We are living in the 21st century and technology is advancing quickly. This allows college-aged kids and people in their early twenties to make a small side income by giving uneducated and misguided career advice to job seekers on various blog sites. The problem with this is you never know who’s actually behind the keyboard. So, let me ask you a question. As an accomplished professional or executive, are you willing to put your career in the hands of a young, self-proclaimed expert who has little or no experience as a hiring manager or resume writer? I didn’t think so. To help you identify these incompetent resume experts, I have provided a list of the four most slipshod bits of advice you will find online that these amateurs provide.


Horrible Resume Writing Tips To Avoid

Here are four resume writing tips to avoid:

1. Only Going Back 10 Years In Work History

This is the one I hear the most and the one that frustrates me the most when I get a client who asks me if they should only go back 10 years in work history. I am going to be blunt here, so please don’t take offense. People, this is common sense! Why would you sacrifice an additional five to ten years of good rock-solid work experience with accomplishments and relevant skills just to meet the shoddy advice of some random article on a website? As a hiring manager myself, I always look for who has the “most” relevant experience to perform the job as required. A candidate who is 5 years younger than the next has absolutely no advantage over an older candidate with more experience and skills. Can you grasp the logic here? Only going back 10 years in work history is the most ridiculous bit of advice I have every run across online.

2. Limiting Your Resume To One Page

Keeping your resume to only one page pretty much goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Why would you limit the amount of information the reader can grasp about your background just because you are worried about them thinking you are “too old” or “overqualified” by having a resume that is longer than one page? First of all, when an employer tells you that you are “overqualified” for a job, it means they just don’t like you. Stop blaming your resume for being two pages or more. Nobody can be overqualified for a job. Why would an employer not hire a candidate who possesses more skills than the job entails? That would just be outright stupid. Some might say it’s because they are afraid the candidate will only stick around long enough to find a better opportunity at another company, or that they will get bored and underperform. These are concerns every employer has about every single employee, but that does not mean a hiring manager should choose the candidate who turns in a one page resume vs. a candidate who turns in a two-page impressive portfolio of achievements. Do you catch my drift? Employers simply don’t care about whether your resume is one page or three pages as long as you have what they are looking for. I will agree that a resume should be as concise and straight to the point as possible. However, don’t exclude important information just to achieve a one page theory that was conjured up by a college kid in a dorm room.

3. Use Fancy Styles And Fonts

Some websites and lousy resume writers will advise people to use fancy styles and fonts to make their resume “POP” and help them “stand-out” from other candidates. Proper formatting and unique organization are very important factors that will help the reader to better understand your background. However, if you really think a hiring manager will do back flips to the phone just because your resume has a cool looking design, you are severely mistaken. In fact, using certain styles and fonts can ruin your resume’s response rate. The main reason is that applicant tracking system databases cannot correctly parse the information on resumes that use certain design schemes. Another is that employers simply don’t care if you use a superscript letter for your first name or if your resume has industry-related images all over the page. All that does is take attention away from the important information on the page. This is called over doing it. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

4. Lie On Your Resume

I think this one is pretty obvious and anyone with half a brain should know better. However, I do hear this one from time-to-time. A client will obsess over their resume after weeks or months with no response. Instead of being more persistent and aggressive in their job search, they focus on what they feel they can control, which is the resume. This is basic human psychology, and when this happens, people tend to resort to lying on their resumes to cover up job gaps or hide their age to mask their fears. Look, it’s just not worth the effort to hide little facts from your resume in an attempt to deceive the reader. They will always find out where you worked when they run a background check using your Social Security Number. Keep in mind, the IRS stores your SSN in their database from the previous jobs you’ve held, and all employers have access to this information when they decide to hire you and process your job application. If you leave off a job just because you only worked there for a year and felt the employer might not like it, they will find this and think you lied to them before you even began your first day on the new job. Also, you must provide your date-of-birth on your job application. Why would you hide your age from your resume just to waste everyone’s time if you’re really that afraid of being discriminated against? Save yourself the time and headache of lying on your resume. Instead, try focusing on more important things like adding more skills or following up with submissions more frequently. I really hope this information helps you identify the bad apples that claim to be experts. If you are still hitting a brick wall, seek the help of a reputable resume writing service that can guide you in the right direction and provide the most effective best practices. It's simply not worth the risk of jeopardizing your entire career by accepting horrible tips from a part-time amateur who lacks the necessary knowledge required to develop an effective resume. Article written by Careers Plus Resumes Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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