At MRINetwork, we see a LOT of resumes. Our
recruiters submitted what they thought were the most common faux
pas. Use these tips to avoid making fatal errors in your
- Poor grammar, typos, misspellings, etc. A sloppy resume
says you're careless.
- Overkill. Anything over a page-and-a-half is too
- Vagueness. Quantify your results. Don't state:
"Responsible for supervising 300 employees." Instead say: "Managed
the marketing department, which increased revenues 82 percent in a
four-year period." Don't write a job description; list what you
- Plagiarism. Avoid patterning your resume after the same
examples everyone else uses. Hiring authorities get bored with
look-alike resumes. Be creative and different-but only to a
- Colored paper. Any color other than white is unacceptable.
Colored paper does not copy well-your resume will be distributed to
- Clichés and buzzwords. Don't use words that you think
should sound "smart." Hiring authorities are not impressed with
"utilize," "flexible," "team player," and "seeking an opportunity
for me to grow and develop."
- Tiresome details. If you're well into your career, skip
those college summer jobs. As you advance in age and up the
corporate ladder, pare down your resume. Nobody really cares that
you worked your way through college waiting tables, especially when
you're applying for an executive position with a securities
- Indeterminate gender. If you're Pat, Lynn, or Lee, don't
keep 'em guessing. With certain names use Mr. or Ms. as a
- Lying. First, you don't lie because it's wrong. Second,
you don't lie because if you get caught, you won't get the
- Omitting your job objective. State clearly what you're
looking for. Ambiguity indicates you lack direction and focus.
- Listing your job objective. Note that this contradicts the
previous point. Some headhunters think a job objective limits the
candidate. If the exact position isn't available within the
organization, the candidate automatically eliminates himself from a
job. Do your homework in advance to be sure your objective
coincides with an open position before including it in the resume.
If there are several positions that interest you, do not include