6 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Resume

Don’t write your own ticket to the resume trash bin by committing one of these deal-breaking mistakes:

1. Taking bad editorial advice

If you know that your resume is on track, then it’s on track. If you can honestly review your actions and intentions and you know you’ve done everything you can to support your bid for this job, then it’s time to trust your instincts and click send. This can be hard if you have well-meaning friends and family hovering over you and making questionable suggestions. 

2. Going on for too long

Sometimes success comes from knowing when to walk away. When it comes to detail, descriptions, and examples, sometimes less is more and a short summary works better than a long exhaustive report. Smaller amounts of information can also be easier for managers to remember. Limit your details and make sure you choose the ones that are the most relevant and will have the most impact. 

3. Adding a non-helpful cover letter

Nothing ruins a beautiful resume like an awkward, tone-deaf cover letter. If your resume presents you as a competent, reliable person, don’t let your cover letter undermine that impression with poorly written sentences, disrespect, or negativity.

4. Sending to the wrong address

A perfectly written and beautifully formatted resume won’t do you a bit of good if you send it into a black hole and then sit by the phone waiting for a response that never comes. Double check the address, and if in doubt, send your application to two addresses (for example, the address listed on the post and also the HR office of the company you’re targeting). If you don’t receive a confirmation, follow up. Call or email the company a few days later to make sure your materials reached their destination.

5. Damaging your credibility

One small lie or exaggeration doesn’t just call that individual claim into question—it can actually undermine the integrity and meaning of your entire document. If you conveniently leave out a few employment dates, overstate an accomplishment, or make an ambiguous, misleading statement about why you left your last job, you can ruin your chances in one stroke.

6. Including a broken or self-defeating link

If you’d like to supplement your resume with an online version that supports and fills out the details of your formal document, that’s a smart move. Just make sure your online resume actually does this instead of undermining your application by presenting conflicting information, or worse, an error page. Double check any links you include in your resume and cover letter—make sure they work, and make sure your links take your readers exactly where you’d like them to go.

Use Your Resume to Grab the Spotlight

Visit LiveCareer for templates and resources that can help you create a great resume, attach it to a great cover letter, send it off without a hitch, and get the job search results you’re looking for. 

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