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Sources, Links & Blunders

Use these free resume builders from Free Resume Example to help you avoid blunders and create a professional resume.

Common Resume Blunders

Why Use An Objective Statement?
Objective statements are a waste of space. I do not use them. No one really cares to read what you want to be. They want to read how you can help them become what they want to be.

Does Length Matter?
One page or two pages? Don't worry about the length unless it starts turning into a novel. Two pages should be more than enough room for a good resume. REMEMBER - You are selling yourself with your resume, so remember to include statments that are going to show your accomplishments.

The most important guideline is that every word in the resume MUST SELL the candidate.

Listing Your Job Duties!
Creating a resume that is nothing more than a list of job duties is a waste of time. Your resume should show where you made a difference in a company and what you accomplished while there.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you perform a job better than anyone else? If so, how?
  • Did you make credible contributions?
  • Did the company benefit from your efforts?
  • Can you list the benefits?
  • What awards did you receive for your efforts?

Using Personal Pronouns and Articles!
DO NOT use "I" or "me" and keep article use to a minimum. Here is an example:

The statement:

"I designed a new gear lever for the Ford Mustang, making it easier to shift gears in higher speeds."

Should be changed to:

"Designed a new gear lever for the Ford Mustang, making it one of the fastest selling cars on the market."

Notice that "I" was replaced with an Action Verb, “Designed”. Action verbs are just that, they show action. You Developed, Created, Implemented, etc. This tells the reader that you are a “take charge” person. Here are some more Action Verbs:

achieved - added - broadened - consolidated - coordinated – created - developed - designed - eliminated - established - evaluated - expanded - generated - identified - increased - initiated - invented - maintained - managed - negotiated - organized - performed - planned - purchased - reduced - saved - simplified - streamlined - strengthened - supervised - trained - transferred - utilized - verified - worked - wrote

Chronological or Functional Resume?
You need to show your career progression and your accomplishments at each position.

The best resume for doing that is a Chronological Resume.

The Chronological Resume is the most common and easiest to write. In many cases, it's also the format employers and recruiters prefer, but it doesn't fit everyone.

For example, if you have held many jobs for short periods, a Chronological Resume makes it appear that you job hop and aren't very dedicated to your employers. It also won't work well if you:

  • Have little or no work experience
  • Have large gaps in your job history
  • Have a mixed-bag job history, with no apparent common thread
  • Gained most of your experience by working for the same company
  • Are making a career change

In these cases, a Functional Resume may be best. It highlights your relevant skills, education, experiences and accomplishments, but places little emphasis on job history.

For example, if you have large gaps in your job history, list employers but skip the dates of employment. Get to the interview first, then explain the gaps, if you're asked.

Organize your Functional Resume so that it highlights your relevant assets up front, in order of importance.

In other words, place your strongest asset in the Accomplishments Section, followed by those of lesser importance.

If you lack work experience, highlight anything that translates into such, but don't fudge it.

Two other types of resumes you may wish to review are the Combination Resume and Scannable Resume

DO NOT include hobbies unless they relate to the position you are applying for.

DO NOT list your date of birth, marital status, height and weight.

No Background Section!
If you research an opportunity and the company where it is at, you will know the type of skills and competencies that are important to the position you are applying for. A well written Background Section will demonstrate the skill level and experiences directly related to the position you are applying for.

The Background Section is a great sales tool! It helps you point out your experience to the employer!

Is your resume Keyword Rich?
Your resume should be "Keyword Rich"! Many companies use scannable technology to store resumes, so using as many keywords as possible will place your resume in a better search position.

Keywords are typically nouns, not verbs, and they are usually specific to each career field. Good sources for identifying keywords are the job descriptions contained in employer web sites. Look for degrees required, degrees preferred, two or three word phrases about job responsibilities, computer software or hardware proficiencies, job titles, and personal traits desired.

Other sources of keywords are online trade journals and associations, employment ads and the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Take advantage of as many free resume builders as you can.

Keywords do not have to be a separate section except in a Scannable Resume. Normally, keywords should be sprinkled throughout the resume. A good way to determine keywords is to read job descriptions for positions that interest you.

I have a listing of keywords and action verbs at Free Resume Builders - Action Verbs & Keywords if you would like to look them over.

References Available Upon Request!
Another waste of space. I don't use it! Obviously if you are applying for the job, you have references (or should have!)

Killer Typos!
One typo is strike one. Two typos is STRIKE THREE! Guess what? YOU'RE OUT! PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD and show your resume to several qualified people to have them proofread it as well.

Cover Letter!
Always include a Cover Letter! Always include a Cover Letter! Always include a Cover Letter!!!!!

Why? Because a Cover Letter is your first impression with the hiring manager. A well written cover letter can open doors that you never dreamed possible. Sometimes it can sell you better than the resume. Be sure to check out my section on Cover Letters.

REMEMBER. Your resume is a reflection of you! MAKE IT PERFECT!

Thank you for using Free Resume and the Free Resume Builders web page.