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Ten Things to Avoid on Your Resume

The average employer gives a résumé a 30 second review before examining it more carefully. To give your résumé the edge, avoid these mistakes:

  1. Don't use a résumé with spelling, typing, or grammatical errors. First impressions are critical. An employer will assume mistakes on a résumé indicate a careless employee. Proofread your résumé before it is printed and before it is mailed!

  2. Don't write corrections or notes on your résumé. Résumés should always be completely typed. A laser printed copy is preferred.

  3. Don't omit the cover letter. Too many résumés are mailed without cover letters and wind up on the wrong desk with no indication of what position is being applied for.

  4. Don't provide salary history and salary requirements. If salary history is requested, it should be included in the cover letter or on the job application.

  5. Don't lie about your background or stretch the truth. Hiring authorities will call your previous employers to verify your work experience.

  6. Don't include personal descriptions such as ethnicity, age, weight, gender, or marital status. Photos should also be excluded.

  7. Don't use the phrase "References available upon request," or the word "Résumé" for a title.

  8. Don't fold, staple, or tape your résumé. For mailing, use large envelopes in order to keep your résumé and cover letter flat.

  9. Don't use your present employer's fax, e-mail, envelopes, or mail department to send your résumé. DOL offices offer these services free of charge, and local libraries have computers with Internet access. Office supply stores and some pharmacies offer faxing services for a fee.

  10. Don't use a résumé that looks cluttered or lacks white space. Remember, an employer will first glance at your résumé. If it is not neatly organized with information quickly available, it will probably not be read. Since a résumé is a quick reference for employers, it should not be more than two pages in length.
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