Top 5 resume mistakes to avoid

A resume should highlight your impressive accomplishments—not reference that you raise German Shepherds. Tom Merritt offers more recommendations about what not to include in your resume.

Top 5 resume mistakes to avoid A resume should highlight your impressive accomplishments--not reference that you raise German Shepherds. Tom Merritt offers more recommendations about what not to include in your resume.

Resumes—the internet was supposed to make them obsolete (and in a few sectors, I guess they sort of are), but for most job seekers, they're still a requirement. To make a good one, you need to get in the right mindset—this is your personal history, not just a formality. Here are five common resume mistakes to avoid.

SEE: 20 resume mistakes to watch out for (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

  1. Adding irrelevant achievements. Were you head of the homecoming committee? Great. Does that really distinguish you from others seeking the same job? Is it the best thing you can say for your talents, and is it even relevant to the job? If you ran the A/V club for four years and you're applying for a video editor position, sure. But be judicious.
  2. Writing in the third person. Tom is telling you that when someone reads your resume they want to hear it from you—that makes a better connection between you and the hiring manager than talking like you're Rickey Henderson. Trust Tom—write in the first person.
  3. Don't add references. Most companies have a tool for getting your references, or they'll ask if they need them. Don't even bother saying references available on request—they'll assume you have them.
  4. Listing a lofty objective. Every resume with an objective wants to make a difference in the world or become CEO. It doesn't distinguish you anymore. Just dump it.
  5. Including personal information. The fact that you have two kids, raise German Shepherds, and love Korean dramas might be great stuff to chat about informally, but it's probably just cluttering up your resume and could unintentionally put someone off. Not everybody likes German Shepherds. Monsters.

Keep that resume tight and full of the actual impressive stuff you've done. There's more than you think.

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Image: Andrey Popov