4 Serious Resume Don’ts

Will you be jumping back into the job market soon? Job searches require a lot of work and thought. Once you’ve picked through the open positions on job listing sites, you’ll need to start thinking about your resume. This is often the least fun part of the job hunt, usually because most people aren’t sure what should and shouldn’t make the cut for a good resume.

Obviously the goal of any resume is to get you noticed so that you get an interview. Sometimes it feels like you’re trying to write in a code you don’t understand when you try to list all of your good qualities and skills in as little space as possible. And that perception isn’t wrong, since “40% of hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing a resume” according to The Motley Fool. While there are many lists with tips for how to write and format your resume, we’ve got a list of things you absolutely want to avoid when you’re crafting the resume that will take you into the next phase of your career.

1: Don’t go over one page

This is the toughest but most important rule of resume writing. Unless you work in a field like academics or certain sciences, your resume should absolutely not run longer than one page. This means you’ll have to employ a very ruthless editing strategy to cut all of the fat from your resume. Good tips to cut down on resume real estate are to only list your highest degrees earned and only listing your three most employers.

2: Don’t use vague or fancy jargon

Look, we all know that almost any job or skill can sound far cooler than it is if you say it right. Yes, you may have “handled daily inter-office communication and delivery systems” but we all know you worked in the mailroom. Try to be straightforward with your language and your accomplishments. That’s not to say you shouldn’t put your best foot forward, but if you go too far you risk looking ridiculous.

3: Don’t get too personal

Most resume experts recommend that you avoid talking too much about anything personal. This isn’t just to make sure you don’t look unprofessional, but also to make sure you don’t trigger any conscious or unconscious bias in a hiring manager. Definitely don’t list things like birth dates, gender, marital status, or whether you’re a parent. In an ideal world, these would all be irrelevant, but there’s no reason to risk assumptions about how your age or personal commitments might affect your ability to perform the duties of a potential job.

4: Don’t forget your contact information

Make it easy for whoever in the human resources department reviews your resume to contact you. Definitely include an email address that you check regularly. And always include your LinkedIn account. Your goal is to make it as easy for someone to select you as a candidate as possible, and that means not expecting them to do extra research just to contact you!