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Resume 101


Whether you've been downsized, are looking for a career change or are just starting out, your resume speaks volumes about you. If your resume doesn't make it past the first cut, you're doomed; no matter how qualified you are. Below are ten common mistakes to avoid when putting your resume together. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

1. Multiple pages ? You need to be concise. Keep it to one page and one page only. If you can't highlight your talents on one page, you're giving the message that you are unorganized and tend to go on and on.

2. Fancy paper ? If your skills don't speak for themselves, then your fancy paper isn't going to make a bit of difference.

3. Fancy font ? Same as above. Don't try to set yourself apart with a different font on your resume. Set yourself apart by being uniquely qualified.

4. Irrelevant info ? No one really cares that you were a singing waiter if you're applying for an accountant job.

5. Outdated information ? Does it matter than you had a newspaper route and were on the high school cheerleading squad 24 years ago? No, not in the least. Leave it off.

6. Typos and misspellings ? You would think this is an obvious one, but you'd be amazed at the number of resumes received with big blaring mistakes.

7. Falsified information ?Greatly elaborated credentials are the same as lies. Do not list diplomas, certifications, affiliations or awards that you did not earn. Just don't do it. It'll come back to bite you in the butt.

8. Attachments ? At the resume stage do not send any attachments, whatsoever. If you are granted an interview, at that time you could bring in whatever it is you're so hot to get into the selecting official's hands. The person accepting the resumes will likely just throw it in the round file.

9. Elaborating too much ? Place of employment, job title and brief, very brief description of job responsibilities are all you need. Don't complete a whole paragraph for each job you've held.

10. No cover letter ? Writing a good cover letter is a bit of an art. However, any cover letter is better than none. Just keep the same principles in mind with your letter: Brevity, relevant and free from typos.

If you can avoid these simple ten resume mistakes, you're more than half way there to getting an interview. Once you have your foot in the door you can really shine for the boss. If you don't make it past the first cut, due to any of the above fatal mistakes, your beautiful resume will be used to wipe up coffee spills or will be added to the recycle pile! Don't let that happen to you.

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