There are thousands of ways to write your resume, deliver your resume and add things to your resume.
Below is a list of things not to do with your resume:
1) Avoid long manifestos for a cover letter – Your cover letter should be short and to the point. Every hiring manager and human resources office has received a five page dissertation written by someone who places no value on the manager’s time. Worse, sometimes, the author could be found certifiably insane based on that one document. Make sure your cover letter is something people want to read and that it gets to the point quickly.
2) Don’t use any strange online resume to try to seem cool – There are web programmers out there who are inventing new and bizarre resume ideas. Indexed, searchable, technicolor resumes that can’t be printed out are useless to most hiring managers. New and funky is just new and funky. Most hiring managers prefer a resume that looks like a resume. Put your name at the top and that details on the page.
3) You are not cool enough for a five page resume – Unless you are reprinting the speech you gave to the Nobel Committee, your resume should be two pages or less. The people that you are hoping will hire you are very busy. They don’t have time for a huge tome that tells everything about your life.
4) Avoid bright paper or paper with poorly cut sides – Your resume is not the place the show off your artistic skills or your ability to find paper that can be seen from across the room. Use paper that is white or light tan. You really don’t need to spend a great deal of money on paper. Put your efforts into crafting a great resume, not shopping for fancy paper.
5) Don’t hide your work gap – The economy has been rough on lots of people. And many of them have gaps in their resumes while they were searching for jobs. Don’t be afraid to put your work gaps in and explain them, whether it was due to a layoff or having children or what ever it was. Put it in, put in a short explanation and then give potential employers the opportunity to ask you for more details.
6) Don’t hide a lack of information with big fonts – Just because it’s loud doesn’t make it work. Making the font sizes bigger will not make up for the fact that you have very little experience.
7) Build your resume by doing good things – If you find yourself trying to pad your resume, do it the right way: volunteer. Nearly every career, specialty and degree has a non-profit correspondent. Find them and give them your time. While you are sending out your resume, you are building your experience and references.
The one class of careers that might break most of these rules: creative arts. If you are applying for a job as an amazing creative artist make your resume as creative as possible. If you’re a game designer, design a game that displays your resume. If you are a graphic artist or web designer, try making your resume and calling card a design that will jump off of the hiring manger’s desk.
What resume ideas do you have?
What mistakes have you made when sending out your resume?
Share your comments below. Thanks.