February 20, 2018

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Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot

Why is having any of these 7 things on your resume is like shooting yourself in the foot?

During my job search I read dozens of books and articles, took programs and even sat at the feet of two of the most experienced Human Resource professionals. In a few moments, you will learn the real keys to standing out and rising above the norm. Stick to the facts and only reveal information that will encourage the reader to call you for an interview. If in doubt, leave it out. Pay careful attention to this one.

The objective is no longer a practical heading for your resume. Bottom line, don’t begin your resume with an objective statement that talks only about your desires and career goals. Most Human Resource Professionals are overworked and understaffed. The last thing they care about is what you want. HR Professionals are working to meet tight deadlines and desperately want to hire that extra person to make their lives easier. When they look at your resume, they want to know one thing: how will you simplify their lives? Rather than a seeminly selfish objective, create a powerful profile summary that demonstrates how your skills and their needs fit. Review these sample profiles:

Here is a listing of the other 6 items that you should avoid at all cost. These items should never appear on any resume at any time.

No Personal Information

Leave off anything related to hobbies or personal interests. If it doesn’t relate to employment it doesn’t belong on a resume.

No Personal Pronouns

Do not use “I” or “me” in a resume. Sentence structure is typically very short leading with action verbs. Sentences like, “I was responsible for…” are not used in a resume. Instead, the sentence would begin with, “responsible for…”

No Family Information

Don’t use the small space available on your resume to list your marital status or family size.

No Personal Biographies

Leave off anything that could be used as discriminatory information. Remember, the people reading resumes are not initially reading to select, they are reading to eliminate. There is no reason to reveal your age or any other personal data. The reader should be selecting candidates based strictly on skills and experience.

No Reasons for Leaving

This type of information goes on the application. If there is a problem with a former employer and you left under difficult measures, you cannot explain the reason in writing. Keep in mind the resume is to highlight your accomplishments.

Graphics and Artwork

Writing a resume using a computer makes the task quick and easy, yet has also created the temptation to make use of clipart and different fonts. Resist! Your resume will not look clever or original; it will look like an amateur produced it and will be tossed aside.

Final Tips: Forget about trying to create the “perfect” resume. Why?

  1. Your resume will never be framed and hung on a wall.

  2. The employer cares only about their needs being met. Don’t talk about your wants, needs or desires rather, focus on how you meet their needs and solve their problems. As Zig Ziglar once said, “When a person goes to the hardware store to purchase a drill, they don’t want to “buy a drill” rather what they want is 3 centimeter hole. If they could get the hole without the drill they would do it.” Make sense?

  3. Focus your resume to each employer. Your research tells you exactly what they are looking for.

  4. Specifics sell! Clearly outline results, contributions, and achievements you’ve made in your previous positions that directly benefit the targeted company.

    -Brian Stephenson

    Brian Stephenson is the author of, “Job Search Boot Camp”, the most hard-hitting, step-by-step job search course that takes each student by the hand and shows them how to create powerful resumes that get results, stunning cover letters that command interviews, and winning interview thank you letters that get you hired? Imagine for a moment what is possible for you if you had access to these forbidden secrets. For more information on the Job Search Boot Camp course, visit

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