How to Realize What a Resume Actually is

Today let’s focus on what not to do on your resume.

1.A resume is not a biography. You may have had a number of amazing jobs and experiences, but the person reading your resume is not interested in reading your life story.

Save the story-telling session for the Christmas party after you’ve landed the job.

2. A resume is not a work of prose. Many people can write well. Not many people can write resumes well. There is a difference. When writing a resume fancy words and turns of phrase are not much of an advantage. In fact they can actually hurt your chances. Clarity and brevity are key.

Leave your inner Dickens locked up when you sit down to create the documents whose job it is to land you an interview.

3. A resume is not a list of job descriptions. Many people have a tendency to cut and paste their position’ s job description into their resume. I understand why people do this, but it does nothing to sell yourself to potential employers.

Hiring committees already know what the job entails. What they don’t know is how good and innovative you are at doing it. Tell them.

4. A resume is not a four page document. This should be a corollary of number one. Too often people think they have to cram every bit of information about themselves into their resume. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less. Give enough information to sell yourself.

5. A resume is not a place to show off your artistic skills. Don’t try to add excessive graphics, pictures or fancy stylings to your resume. More often than not the formatting won’t hold when someone opens it anyway. Simple is always the best choice. Let your words do the work.

6. A resume is not about your hobbies, family, religion, sports etc. This is all just filler that might have worked on your high school resume, but when applying for professional positions they just don’t cut it.


Want to see how your resume stacks up? I’d be happy to take a look- no strings, just paying it forward.   If you decide you want help? Then we can talk. Shoot me an email today.