Your resume is your most important calling card in your job search. It should include the following information:

  • Contact Information. Include phone, mail and email contact information. In addition, make sure your voicemail message is professional. A message that is too casual can create a negative impression.
  • Career Objective. You may choose to list or not list your career objective. If your objective doesn’t match the recruiter’s needs, you may miss out on a golden opportunity. However, a clearly stated career objective can help your recruiter find your ideal career match.
  • Summary Statement. Your summary should be brief.
    • Include your title and years of experience.
    • List pertinent skills.
    • Discuss your character traits or work style.
  • Professional Experience. List each position held in reverse chronological order, dating back at least ten years. If you held multiple positions within the same company, list them all to show advancement and growth. The body of each position description should describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Other Components. Include education, professional training, affiliations/appointments, licenses, technical skills and languages.
  • Personal Information. Do not include personal hobbies, clubs, religious affiliation, or anything that would be deemed as a distraction from work.

Fatal Resume Errors

At Stascom, we see a LOT of resumes. Our recruiters submitted what they thought were the most common faux pas. Use these tips to avoid making fatal errors in your resume.

  • Excluding numbers.  People in sales or sales leadership positions need to show their numbers on their resumes, such as quota attainment in dollars or percentages.
  • Poor grammar, typos, misspellings, etc. A sloppy resume says you’re careless.
  • Overkill. Anything over 2 pages is too long.
  • Vagueness. Quantify your results. Don’t state: “Responsible for supervising 300 employees.” Instead say: “Managed the marketing department, which increased revenues 82 percent in a four year period.” Don’t write a job description; list what you have accomplished.
  • Plagiarism. Avoid patterning your resume after the same examples everyone else uses. Hiring authorities get bored with look-alike resumes. Be creative and different-but only to a point.
  • Colored paper. Any color other than white is unacceptable. Colored paper does not copy well-your resume may be distributed to multiple people.
  • Cliches and buzzwords. Don’t use words that you think should sound “smart”. Hiring authorities are not impressed with “utilize”, “flexible”, “team player”, and “seeking an opportunity for me to grow and develop”.
  • Tiresome details. If you’re well into your career, skip those college summer jobs. As you advance in age and up the corporate ladder, pare down your resume. Nobody really cares that you worked your way through college waiting tables, especially when you’re applying for an executive position with a securities firm.
  • Lying. First, you don’t lie because it’s wrong. Second, you don’t lie because if you get caught, you won’t get the job or if you get the job, you could get fired.
  • Omitting your job objective State clearly what you’re looking for. Ambiguity indicates you lack direction and focus, but don’t limit yourself to a “needle in a haystack” position.
  • Listing your job objective. Note that this contradicts the previous point. Some recruiters think a job objective limits the candidate. If the exact position isn’t available within the organization, the candidate automatically eliminates himself from a job. Do your homework in advance to be sure your objective coincides with an open position before including it in the resume. If there are several positions that interest you, do not include your objective.