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6 Self-Inflicted Wounds From Your Resume


A resume is a document that highlights your skills, experience, and qualifications. It is used to apply for jobs, internships, graduate/professional programs and even scholarships. Given that, it's best to avoid the 7 self-inflected wounds from your resume.


Including Tables, Headers & Footers, and Images in Your Resume

Tables and images can be difficult for the hiring manager to read. Tables may be difficult to parse through and images can be distracting or hard to make out. Many organizations use automated systems to scan resumes and weed out applicants who do not meet certain criteria. Including these items in your resume can lead to the hiring manager not being able to get the information they need from your resume or losing visibility to your application altogether because the automated system disqualified your application.


Submitting Your Resume in a Format Other Than .doc or docx

It is best to use .doc or docx formats when submitting your resume as these are the most widely accepted formats by employers. This is because these formats are easily opened, editable and readable by ATS software, or an Applicant Tracking System. ATS software is commonly used by larger companies and recruiters to automatically sift through resumes and ensure that only suitable matches are sent to the hiring manager. ATS will look for key words and phrases in your resume, and a PDF may not be readable by the software, risking it being automatically rejected.


Including an Objective Statements in Your Resume

There are several reasons why you should not include an objective statement in your resume.

  1. It takes up valuable space. Since you have limited space to present your professional credentials, you need to use that space strategically, focusing on your skills and the value you bring, rather than what you’re looking for in a role.

  2. It’s stating the obvious. Your objective is obvious, you’re looking to get a call for an interview and win the job, and you don’t need to point this out.

  3. It’s an outdated, overly formal formality that doesn’t say anything specific about you as a candidate or set you apart in any way.

  4. You can communicate your objective in your email message or cover letter and don’t need to waste the prime space of your resume on redundant information.

Overall, skipping the objective statement on your resume and replacing it with a Professional Summary or Skills section is a much better way to capture the attention of hiring managers and use the limited space on your resume effectively.


Including References in Your Resume

It is no longer necessary to include references on your resume. In the digital age, employers typically request references from the top two or three candidates in order to learn more about each person. Therefore, it’s best to use the space on your resume in more productive ways, such as going into more detail about your past successes or including a resume summary or resume objective.


Failing to Include a Skills Section in Your Resume

Not including a skills section on your resume can be detrimental to your chances of getting chosen for an interview. A well-crafted skills section is an important part of a successful resume because it helps employers quickly assess whether you have the qualifications to do the job. The skills section should highlight the skills and abilities you possess that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. It should also be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for and should focus on the skills and abilities that you possess that make you a strong candidate for the role.


Not Tailoring Your Resume to a Position

It is important to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for, as this will help you stand out from other candidates. Not tailoring your resume is one of the biggest resume mistakes you can make. Make sure to customize your resume for each job you apply for, focusing on the skills and experience you have that are most relevant to the position. This will help ensure that your resume is noticed by hiring managers and that you are remembered for the right reasons.


Recap: It is important to use the limited space on a resume strategically, focusing on skills and value, while customizing the resume to the job being applied for.

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