What Not To Do: Resume Edition


Your resume is quite possibly one of the most important documents saved on your computer.


A resume is the key ingredient to helping land your dream job.

How can you make sure that your resume is up to par and won’t see the recycling bin?

Here are some things to avoid when you’re putting together a resume.

Missing the specifics

Don’t leave an employer guessing! Your resume is supposed to indicate that you’re a good fit for a position, so it must include any relevant information.

Briefly identify the overall function of your role before focusing on specific tasks and accomplishments that connect your skills to the job opportunity at hand. Avoid broad statements that don’t communicate specific information.

Don’t rely on a job title to catch an employer’s eye. While previous experience in a similar role is an obvious asset, employee responsibilities can differ substantially between different workplaces.

Leaving out experience

If you’re looking for a first professional role or are switching industries, you’ll need to rely on a variety of work experiences to position yourself as a compelling new hire.

Resume don'ts
A good resume helps an employer understand what makes you the right fit.

Don’t assume that past work experience in a different field isn’t relevant to a position in your industry of choice – if you have limited experience, you need to use every piece to your advantage.

Many skills from other jobs can be transferable! For example: customer service experience can be a great asset in many other career fields.

As you build your resume, you won’t need to use every piece of work experience you have when applying for a new job, but you’ll still want to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

Going overboard

A resume should never exceed two pages – and if it is kept to one page, that’s even better.

Resumes are meant to showcase your experience and accomplishments, and although many applicants can talk for days about their background and job experience, it is important to keep a resume short and to the point.

No one wants to read a novel about you, no matter how relevant your past experience may be.

Depending on the role you’re applying for, you may want to use a completely different format for your resume, removing or including sections based on the information you want to present.

Mismatching an objective

Not all resumes include an objective. Make sure that you’re only using one if it’s a good fit for the opportunity that you’re pursuing.

Resume don'ts
Despite the rise of online networking, a good resume is still an invaluable career tool.

It’s a common mistake to use the same objective for every application, or use one that is too broad. For example: “I am seeking full-time employment.”

An objective should be highly engaged with the job you are applying for, and should change with every single job you submit your application to. Note that including an objective is an often-debated topic. If you are having trouble writing one, it’s safer to just not include one at all.

Ignoring design

If you are applying for positions in marketing or graphic design, getting creative with your resume is a great way to show off your skills.

For a more traditional role or in a conservative industry, it’s best to stick to a crisp-professional layout.

You don’t need exceptional design skills to compose a beautiful resume. A quick search online can get started with some simple examples that will help you design your own from scratch.

A resume should be clean, eye-catching and easy to read. Do not over-complicate your application by getting too experimental with your design – but it’s okay to have some fun with it.

What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!