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Real World Don'ts

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Resume Don'ts

Don't focus on your duties, focus on your accomplishments. (This is a repeat from the dos. It's that important!)

Don't use an objective. Employers don't care about you. It's what can you do for ME, ME, ME? Use a profile instead.

Don't put in more than 15 years of experience. Anything older becomes irrelevant. Use a synopsis if you think skills learned during early periods are necessary. For example: "Before 1989 I gained significant experience in accounting and finance." That's a great sentence if you are now in marketing.

Do not lie or exaggerate. Yes, in PARs and SARs we teach how to put a positive spin on almost anything. However, it must be done honestly. Not only is integrity important, if you can't discuss it in the interview or have it survive a background check, it will hurt more than help.

If you use a font that may not be common to all computers, only distribute pdf versions of your resume and make sure that the font is embedded in the pdf. Otherwise, you lose control of your formatting, and what looks good on your computer can look horrible on another.

Don't use pronouns ("I") and minimize the use of articles ("a," "the"). They can reduce the impact of your accomplishments and waste valuable real-estate.

Keep the personal data personal. Birth date, marital status, height and weight, and other irrelevant information have no value, but could lead to a non-provable act of discrimination.

Do not use a temporary email address, such as a college email address. Use an address that will follow you forever. You may want to get a free (gmail, Yahoo, etc.) special career email address that forwards to your personal email address.

Don't include content that reveals your ethnicity, political or religious beliefs. That could hurt as much as help. It could also create a baseless fear that you'll proselytize in the workplace. (If the fear isn't baseless you should reconsider what you find to be proper and respectful behavior in the workplace.) Even something nice like the following under volunteer activities could hurt.
Don't say: "Helped build houses for the poor while on a mission."
Say: "Helped build houses for the poor." This has the side benefit of saving real estate and being easier to read.

Your skills and experience likely transcend your job search objective. Do not succumb to the temptation to include details that are not focused on the experience that supports your objective.


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