We’ve all seen articles about what to include on a resume, so today we’re flipping the script and warning you of a few of the biggest things NOT to do.
1. Provide incorrect or missing contact info
Contact information appears at the top of any traditional resume, so an issue here not only could prevent a hiring manager from being able to reach you, but also hints at an unthorough and/or unprofessional candidate. When editing your resume, always make sure this section is correct and current. Did you recently sign a lease for a new apartment, move to a new city, get a new phone plan, or switch to a new primary email address? It can be easy to overlook this section as you build and continue to update your resume, but incorrect information here can be just as damaging as when it appears elsewhere on your resume. One of the worst things you can do aside from providing outdated information or committing typos is to use an unprofessional email address. Rather than submit a resume notifying your employer that your primary email address is email@example.com, take the time to create a simple, professional email address.
2. Commit spelling/grammar errors
Committing spelling and grammar errors are probably the easiest ways to ensure your application will be quickly rejected. Even if your experience is exactly what an employer is seeking, employers are hard pressed to hire someone whose first impression includes such a common-sense oversight. That’s not to imply that it’s always easy to catch all of your own typos – instead, we recommend seeking outside help from a professional or trusted peer. It’s easier to detect spelling and grammar errors in writing that isn’t your own, so you should be able to find people willing to provide feedback on your resume in exchange for your feedback on theirs.
3. Include false, outdated, or irrelevant information
This is really three separate points. First, never lie on your resume – if you’re found out, there’s a distinct possibility you’ll have caused more harm to your career than if you had simply been passed over for the job in question.
Next, make sure you read through the points on your resume to ensure that they reflect your job responsibilities and experience in their most current states. For example, you may have been hired to help with the creation of a new database architecture, but since then have branched out to take over additional responsibilities related to the creation of data analytics dashboards and related data visualization.
Finally, you’ll want to keep the information on your resume limited only to the relevant points. Resume readers appreciate conciseness, clarity and brevity – they need to know about what you did but shouldn’t be reading about how much you enjoyed a project or how you managed coworker relationships on a resume. Save lesser details for the interview when you’ll have more time.
4. Leave results insufficiently defined or quantified
After you’ve put together your resume, go through each point of experience you‘ve listed and ask, “Are there statistics that back up this point?” A good way to know if you should include something on your resume is if you have qualitative or quantitative results which speak to the quality of the work you did in handling a particular responsibility. If you include a point that falls apart when you’re asked to explain the impact in real terms, it can backfire during an interview and cost you an opportunity. On the flip side, experience supported with facts and stats is more compelling and increases your chance of success.