The Resume Series: Resume Basics - the 5 don'ts

So back over here I gave you some tips on what you should do if you are pulling together or updating your resume. Sometimes it's easier to say what not to do (and infinitely more fun!). Here we go!

  1. Don't include referee contact information: If the company wants to do reference checks they will ask you. This will give you time to chose the best people to speak about you for that specific role, and give you time to contact them. This is also important if they are travelling or overseas where you may need to provide different contact details. You don't want your referees being contacted without your permission.
  2. Don't include a photo. Seriously. Unless you are a model about to go to a casting, this will just give recruiters and HR people the chance to roll about the floor grabbing their stomachs in mirth make fun at your ill chosen photo. Stop it. Do have a photo on your Linkedin account. A professional one. Not one holding a cocktail. Not one where you eyes are red from a flash and not one with someone's arm around you, that you have cleverly cropped out. It's not clever.
  3. Lose the fancy fonts (thanks Rob). I like me a fancy font. I do. Fancy fonts look great on Pinterest and craft blogs. But unless you are going for a creative type role leave them to the creative types. I recommend just using one font, two at a stretch if you are a little creative. That is it. Also use a fairly normal one. If your resume gets pulled through expensive recruitment software basic fonts and formatting will be your friend.
  4. You don't need to detail your family situation or age. Most employers don't care if you are married, separated, divorced, with 2 kids, 3 dogs, a cat and 2 budgies or whether you are living with an alien. If they do care it's none of their bee's wax and in most developed countries it's illegal to ask. In places where it's not illegal they can ask you at interview where you can tell them in person to mind their bee's wax. It's not relevant to the job.
  5. Don't send the same resume in for every job. Tailor it to each company and opportunity, AND
  6. Yes I know I said 5 don'ts but a friend who works in recruitment (thanks Lynette) made a suggestion about another great don't. It's the section on your resume about your interests. I personally think you should leave this out altogether. If interviewers are interested in you personally, they will ask. If you have to include interests don't put things like "watching TV" or "sleeping" I mean really? One resume I read told me that the person liked to do massage, both kinds. What was I supposed to think about that? I don't remember interviewing that person.

So there you have it folks. Got any other don'ts?

Lisa x