Five Moves That Can Ruin a Great Resume

By Jeremy Cyrus 08/03/2013
Five Moves That Can Ruin a Great Resume

Your resume is perfect! It doesn't need another word. It's beautifully laid out on the page, and it represents your skills with accuracy and brilliance. But if it's an error-free, precisely-tailored, pitch-perfect work of art, send it off now. If you stare at it for a little too long and worry a little too much, you might be tempted to make fussy moves like these that can actually hurt—instead of help—your chances.

1. Going on too long.

Submit your resume and move on before you start to babble. The entire document should be a page long (two at the most), but if you stare and agonize, you might start feeling like you can't possibly leave out this detail or that adverb. Believe us: You can. More adverbs (you "quickly process" inventory instead of just "processing" it?) won't get you the job. And in fact, adding more words can actually dilute your message and weaken your points.

2. Introducing new typos.

The more you mess with a resume after the professional editing process, the more likely you are to introduce new errors. Watch out for the phrases you pick half to death…These often hide obvious mistakes and misspellings.

3. Adding irrelevant experience.

"But wait," you may be thinking. "If I'm applying for a position at a financial firm, shouldn't I say something about that teenage summer job I held, keeping the books for my neighbor's pest control business?" No. Just keep moving.

4. Underestimating the rest of the process.

Your resume can get you an interview, but it can't get you a job. After your resume has done its part, you'll need to start getting ready for that interview and paying some attention to other aspects of the job search process. Right now, that may mean letting your resume go and focusing on your cover letter for a while.

5. Slowing your job search down.

The more bogged down you become with one resume for one position, the more you may be missing out on or neglecting other open positions that are appearing on the landscape every day. Balance is key. Attend to the grittiest detail of each application you submit, but when the time comes, send it off, wash your hands of it, and move on to the next one.

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