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5 Common Resume Hazards to Avoid


Your resume is supposed to be a reflection of you and your background and experience.  It should highlight the awesome about you.  A key component of that is that it is a TRUE reflection of you.  Over the years I have read literally 1,000’s of resumes and some are very good and some appeared to be awesome but once I met the candidate in person – it was obvious they embellished their resume or used some subtle trickery to give a false impression of their background, education, practical experience or skill set.  Here are some pitfalls you should avoid when putting together your resume or making updates so it is most current (you should constantly update your resume as you acquire new skills and experience).

Here goes!

  1.  Putting a date when you have not received or earned the certification – I know you want the certification acronym on your resume so you get more hits but if you haven’t already earned it PLEASE by all means insert the word “anticipated” before the month and year.  It is a much truer picture that you are working towards it but haven’t actually earned it yet.
  2. Entering a college and degree with no date – this is just the opposite from point #1 above.  This is so ambiguous and difficult for folks to determine whether you have a degree or not.  If you started at a University or College but did not finish it really depends on where you are within your career whether to even list it.  If you have 15 years of experience it isn’t as relevant and you can remove it.  Hopefully you have enough experience that is becomes inconsequential.  If you are just starting out in your career insert the word “anticipated” if you are indeed still working on your degree and if you have no future plans to return back to college then simply remove it.
  3. Not listing accomplishments – if you have been working 2 to 5 years you MUST have accomplished something.  Listing paragraphs describing your responsibility is OK but not enough.  While you are/were in the role what did you accomplish?  That is what sells because people want to know your value proposition over someone else’s.  When listing accomplishments make sure they are quantitative more so than qualitative.
  4. Filling your resume with a bunch of superlatives – what do you have to back it up?  If you state you are the BEST customer service agent with the most innovative and creative ideas what do you have to show for it?  Did you get awarded Customer Service Employee of the Year Award 4 years in a row?  Did you win an innovation award as key contributor?  Unless you can provide explicit examples of how you indeed ARE THE BEST, remain practical and highlight your accomplishments.
  5. Overstating your responsibilities – be very careful here.  Remember the potential employer will be performing background and reference checks.  If you over embellish your role on a project or within a department at a previous or current employer this could land you in hot water.  I once had a candidate showcase a copy of a report she said she initiated and put together.  She proudly showed it to me.  I began to ask her questions about the details and she could not answer one question about the report.  Not good – be sure to represent yourself in a true light and refrain from embellishment.  It won’t get you as far as you would like

And there you have it.  Avoid these pitfalls and I am confident your resume will shine bright like a diamond and have potential employers clamoring to meet with you to see if you can join their team.  Happy resume writing!

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