The 7 Deadly Sins of Resume Writing

  1. Never lie.

    Aside from the moral implications, if you are hired and your fabrications are found out, you can be dismissed. Depending on how large the business community is in your area, this could ruin all your local career prospects.

  2. Don't use the word "resume" on your resume.

    An employer is smart enough to figure out that s/he is reading a resume.

  3. Don't include salary information.

    Sometimes employers ask for this information. Unless you are specifically asked about salary expectations on an application, do not disclose this information.

    By listing salary information, you might be eliminated from consideration if you are asking for too much, or you may be under-compensated since you indicated that you would work for less.

  4. Don’t attach job references & testimonials.

    Usually at the end of the resume it will say, "references available upon request". This is sufficient. If an employer wishes to check references they will specifically ask for them up front. Most however, request them after the first interview. For additional information on see the References section.

    Testimonials are not helpful, since you would never include negative comments. Rather focus on your experiences and achievements to show your suitability for the position. If you have written testimonials you can bring these with you to the interview.

  5. Don’t include personal statistics & photographs.

    Facts about your marital status, age, height, weight, photographs etc, are not important (unless you are applying for a modeling job) and are only invitations for discrimination.

  6. Don’t include personality profiles.

    It’s highly unlikely that anyone will portray himself or herself negatively, thus positive personality profiles do not have much influence. An employer will likely judge your personality from actually meeting you at the interview.

  7. Don’t copy someone else’s resume. Be original and creative.

    Start your resume from scratch. It is okay to look at other resumes to determine what is and is not appropriate. Writing your own resume will give you a chance to express who you truly are.

    Most importantly, this will ensure you are familiar with your resume. You don't want to be struggling to explain to an employer what you meant by a neat - sounding phrase that you copied.