What are the new résumé land mines to avoid?

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Question: “I think I’ve got a good handle on what to include in my résumé; my concern right now is being behind the times and possibly making a subtle layout, content, or phrasing mistake that may immediately red-flag me. What are the current trends in what hiring managers do not want to see?”  - Anita, Oakland, Ca.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie September 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

m r
Your comment was not just tactless it was wrong. Be very sure of your facts before berating someone else.
Julie

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Kay September 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Actually, m r, “pore” is the correct word: To read or study carefully and attentively: pored over the classified ads in search of a new job. I would rather see responses that uplift and enlighten the subject at hand (resumes) than a response that is nit-picky and negative. Charlton’s punctuation issues are so minor that I can’t see anyone not being hired because they put a period outside a quotation mark. To do so would be so picayunish that I, at least, would never want to work with such a boss.

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Anne September 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Keywords are sorted and picked up by a computer system which “score’s” your resume based on the requirements of the position your applying for. I had adjust mine just to get it before the eyes of an actual person!

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Julie September 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I can understand that you want to state why you want *that* job, but where does that go in a resume? Or is that for the cover letter?

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Dora September 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Hi, that goes in the cover letter I believe, so that it’s the first thing they see.

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Marcie September 18, 2012 at 10:46 am

Check out resumania.com for some pretty hilarious examples of what not to do on a resume. Right now, it seems like the emphasis is keeping it short and sweet because businesses have gotten so overwhelmed with resumes. It’s more about the cover letter now, it seems—you’ll get tossed into the trash the second it seems like you really didn’t do your homework about the job and can convince them that this is the one you want above all the others out there.

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Charlton September 18, 2012 at 8:45 am

I actually pore through the resumes we get at work. One thing that will get you rejected these days is submitting a resume that’s too top-heavy in “unprovables.” By this I mean claims that you can’t really back up, like “I engineered change in my department” or “I took the initiative on projects”. Those sound great but they’ve been overdone to the point where statements like these mean nothing and actually work against you. If you’re an admin applying for an admin-type of position, we just want to know your skills. Every claim you make that seems over-the-top hurts your chances.

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m r September 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

Charlton,

You are lucky that you were hired. I see a grammatical error and a punctuation error in your comment:

The term [pore through] should be [pour through].

The punctuation at the end of the sentence ending with [on projects".] should be reversed to become [on projects."].

Tsk.

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Kay September 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Actually, m r, “pore” is the correct word: To read or study carefully and attentively: pored over the classified ads in search of a new job. I would rather see responses that uplift and enlighten the subject at hand (resumes) than a response that is nit-picky and negative. Charlton’s punctuation issues are so minor that I can’t see anyone not being hired because they put a period outside a quotation mark. To do so would be so picayunish that I, at least, would never want to work with such a boss.

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Matt September 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

The HR person where I work tends to throw out resumes fast for these reasons – a SINGLE spelling or grammar mistake is one, but the other is being too vague in your statement about why you want the job–she wants to know why you want THIS job in particular, not A job. Can’t blame her! I think all people who hire are over the people who are blasting resumes right and left, and if you’re too vague about why you’re applying, they think you’re one of those people.

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Dora September 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I think any vague buzzword that occurs to you might be a good candidate to leave off your resume…. if a word pops into your head right away and it doesn’t have a solid, meaningful definition, get rid of it! Make every word completely truthful–where I work, they hate cliches more than anything.

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Linda K. September 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Unfortunately, I can’t see any article. I am very interested to read about the resume land mines, but my view is similar to Ceci’s experience. I see the Question section, and then the comments section, but there is no article information. If that can be e-mailed to me, I would appreciate it. This article appears to be very interesting. Thanks,

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Robert L. September 18, 2012 at 8:51 am

Hi Linda,

The responses people like you submit actually create the article, so we’d love to hear your views on this subject or any of the other questions posed in Admin Pro Today from week to week!

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Amy September 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

Probably because there weren’t any comments. Yours was the first one.

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Ceci September 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

When I open the document, I see the question and directly under the “See Comments Below” there is a box advertising “The Manager’s Guide to Effective, Legal Performance Reviews” and below that are list of icon (FaceBook, LinkedIn, Tweet, etc.) and then it says “Like what you you’ve read?”…business tips!” but never does it show any of comments regarding the question.

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Cathy September 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

That’s because this is a forum, not a link to an article. So the answers or discussion appears in comments.

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