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Most people don’t really like putting together a resume. Writing about yourself is rarely easy, and when you have to try to “sell yourself” by talking up accomplishments, it can be even harder.
Because of this, people tend either to toss a resume together quickly without putting much thought into it or obsessing over every little detail. Either way, they end up making the mistake of including information that no employer really wants to read about.
How bad is it? There are so many errors on resumes, that CareerBuilder holds an annual survey of the “Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes Employers Have Found“. Most “mistakes” in the application process occur in resumes. The worst part about screwing up your resume by including unnecessary information (or errors) is that it will likely be the only thing a potential employer sees. Why? Because no one wants to interview someone who can’t even get their resume right. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid.
Including your interests and hobbies:
A resume is meant to show your work and education, not what you like to do on weekends, but all too often people include information about how they enjoy basket weaving, swimming, or going to the movies. The justification most people use for including these things is that they think it will help to show they are a “well-rounded” person. The only reason you would include hobbies or other interests on your resume is that it is professionally relevant. For example, you can enjoy swimming if you are applying for a job as a physical trainer.
Listing all of your primary education schools:
If you’re a high school student and you’re applying for a job at a local retail chain, include your high school under education. You can even note any amazing accomplishments you’ve had there if you want, but you don’t need to. There’s no reason to ever list your middle and grade school information. If you’re a college graduate, never put any schools on your resume before college, there’s just no reason to do so. If you graduated high school but have not attended college, you can probably get by without an education section.
Writing an objective:
Objectives on resumes were once very popular (and somewhat expected). Whether or not to include an objective is a bit of a bone of contention, but the general consensus is to leave this out. Having one is an old idea and just adds clutter to
Having salary expectations:
Most experts will tell you to avoid discussing salary requirements during an interview until the last interview round. It does not make any sense to include this information on
Dating things besides your work history and education:
It’s recommended to only include dates for your education and work experience on your resume. Extracurricular activities in college, volunteer work, or professional organizations don’t necessarily require dates, but should still be listed. Hiring managers may not give much attention to these sections unless they are relevant to the job or catch their interest. If you consider these experiences important enough to include dates, it might be better to list them under your work experience instead.
Saying “References are available upon request”:
People think they are covering their bases by adding this, but it’s just more unnecessary clutter. You don’t need to tell a prospective employer that you will allow them to see your references if they ask – that’s an expectation! This isn’t quite as bad as actually listing your references on
Remember, your resume is the first thing a prospective employer will see and in order to sell yourself, it should be presented in as concise a manner as possible. This means sticking to a single page in most situations (unless you have more than ten years of experience) and not wasting their time with information they won’t really care about. Spend your time tailoring
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