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10 Death Kisses for Your Resume

  1. Typos
    There are hiring managers who confess that they not only stop reading a resume if they notice a misspelled word, but they toss it immediately. Don’t let yours be one of those.
  2. Bad grammar
    Nothing demonstrates a lack of sophistication better than saying “don’t” when you mean “doesn’t” or “done” when you mean “did.” You’re an educated professional, so make sure your resume talks like one.
  3. Grammatical inconsistencies
    Maybe you’re a Kung-Fu grammarian, but you’d better make sure that if you started out in past tense, you stay in past tense, unless you’re talking about your current position.
  4. A dissertation for a resume
    We said it before, and we’ll say it again. Brevity is the soul of a standout resume. Unless your resume likes that blue bin with the white arrows, keep it under two pages.
  5. Too-small type
    If employers need a magnifying glass to read your resume, how soon do you think they’ll call you for an interview? A 10-point type size is acceptable, but 12-point is best.
  6. Including references
    Your resume should convince employers to call you, not your acquaintances.
  7. Including salary history
    You deserve to be paid what you’re worth, not slightly more than you used to make. So don’t empty your salary gun. Avoid discussions of salary until an offer is imminent.
  8. Including irrelevant information
    If you can play guitar, while knitting and driving a racecar, then you’re an interesting and talented person, but that doesn’t make you a more qualified RT candidate. If, on the other hand, you teach smoking-cessation classes at the local hospital or community center or volunteer to work at asthma or cystic fibrosis camps, then it would be altogether unwise to leave that information off your resume.
  9. A self-focused objective statement
    An objective statement isn’t absolutely necessary, but if you use one, communicate your objective in terms of the employer’s goals, not yours. Rather than saying, “To pursue a rewarding and lucrative career ...” try a more altruistic approach like, “To consistently provide outstanding patient care by...”
  10. Impropriety
    This is not the time to be clever or cute. Sending a photograph of yourself with your resume might get you a date, but it won’t get you a job. Nor will sending your resume on bright, colorful confetti paper or setting the type in a “cutesy” font. Use layout and content to make your resume stand out. Gimmicks will only undermine its impact.

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