I recently reviewed about 250 resumes for a job I posted online. I was horrified by most of the responses I received. If you avoid the pitfalls I describe below (and they're very easy to avoid), you'll easily set yourself apart from most job applicants out there and put yourself at the top of any potential employer's list.
1. You Capitalized Practically Every Word.
2. I asked you to name your attached file a certain way, and you didn't do it.
3. I asked you to include a cover letter, and you only sent your resume.
4. You put that stupid "Objective" section at the top of your resume because some resume template you downloaded from the internet made you think that was a good idea. I already know what your objective is. You want to get paid.
5. You not only included an "objective" section, you wrote that your objective was "to obtain a position that utilizes my skills." Was that really the best you could come up with?
6. You noted that you type 50 words per minute. Is that supposed to impress me? At that speed, you're basically telling me that you know how to use a keyboard. In 2008, I should hope so!
7. You misspelled your former employer's name.
8. You misspelled your own name.
9. You wrote that you have references available upon request. (Okay, I didn't actually reject your resume for this, it just annoyed me.)
10. You don't know how to use a comma.
11. You don't know how to use a dash.
12. YOU WROTE YOUR RESUME ENTIRELY IN CAPS.
13. You addressed your cover letter, "Dear Sir," when my job posting did not indicate my gender. Unfortunately for you, I am not a sir.
14. You don't know how to use an apostrophe.
15. You don't know the difference between "it's" and "its."
16. Instead of using your real name as the name people see when they receive an email from you, you used "Bridgette X." What are you, a stripper?
17. You couldn't be bothered to create a professional-looking email address to send out resumes, preferring to use your "cheekymonkey669" screen name.
18. You are "detail orented."
19. You used a bunch of cliched terms to describe yourself like dynamic, driven, motivated, self-starter, team player, and detail-oriented.
20. Your idea of a cover letter is one paragraph of regurgitated job application nonsense in the body of an email.
21. You don't seem to know what job you are applying for.
22. You appear to be grossly under-qualified for the position, and your cover letter makes no mention of how you intend to compensate for this.
23. You are overqualified.
24. You clearly have a solid grasp of grammar, punctuation, and spelling, but you did not bother to proofread your resume and cover letter. If you don't care enough to make your resume perfect, what kind of work will you do for me?
25. You applied for a professional job as if you were filling out a form application for the Gap.
26. None of the sentences in your cover letter have a subject.
27. You think that "oversee" is two words.
28. You wrote about the job you are still at in the past tense.
29. You are clearly not interested in the position being offered, but you've sent me your resume anyway to make yourself feel better about how many jobs you've tried to apply for.
30. You didn't put a comma after "sincerely." How are you going to write professional letters to my clients?
31. You don't live anywhere near my office and didn't mention anything about relocation in your cover letter.
32. The verb tenses in your resume are all over the place: "handling cash accounts, meets customer expectations, provided excellent customer service."
33. Your email says, "Please see attach." It's "attached" or "attachment," genius.
34. You want me to pay you $218,000 per year plus a performance bonus.
35. Your resume is seven pages long.
36. You included a photo with your resume.
37. Your cover letter is a generic waste of electronic paper that you have probably sent to 100 other employers. It does not indicate any specific interest in the position with my company.
38. The filename of your attached resume is ridiculously long.
39. You forgot to put your name on your resume.
Photo by paul goyette
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