Avoiding Common Resume Blunders - dummies

By Amanda McCarthy, Kate Southam

Part of Writing Resumes & Cover Letters For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australian/New Zealand Edition)

If you want to write the perfect resume for recruiters you need to know what irritates them as they sift through piles of job applications. Here’s a list of resume mistakes that really irk recruiters:

  • Omitting contact details: This sounds like a no-brainer but always include your name, address, telephone numbers, email address and URL (if applicable) in your resume. List your contact details at the top of the page, so they stand out.

  • Putting in unnecessary personal details: Leave out information such as date of birth, marital status, gender and religion in your resume. This information is irrelevant and not job-related.

  • Telling all: Don’t divulge personal information in your resume. Nobody cares what your partner does, how many children you have, what schools they attend, the number of pets you own.

  • Using zany email addresses: Stick to using conservative email addresses that sound professional and incorporate your name.

  • Sending your resume off to the wrong person: This creates a bad impression and recruiters won’t take you or your resume seriously.

  • Including photographs: Photos shouldn’t be included with resumes in Australia and New Zealand; to do so will work against you.

  • Including salary information: Remuneration matters are best brought up in the interview.

  • Making typos and grammatical errors: Recruiters have zero tolerance for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Don’t rely solely on the spellchecker to catch errors.

  • Making your resume too long: Recruiters don’t want to read a novel. Limit your resume to two or three pages even if you’re in a senior role.

  • Attaching wads of paper: Only attach certificates and reference letters when requested.