10 Cardinal Sins of Resume Writing

  1. Never put your full address on your resume. That only makes it easy for recruiters to write you off as being too far to commute or too expensive to relocate.
  2. Don’t put a picture of yourself on your resume. You’ll be opening yourself up to all kinds of discrimination, especially if you’re a visible minority.
  3. Avoid including jobs older than 15 years, when you can. It shows your age and opens you up to discrimination on that basis.
  4. Anything that doesn’t explain to a recruiter why you’re a good fit or how they can reach you for more information on a resume is a waste of time. Plus, if they happen to have some personal prejudice against your particular hobbies, you’ve just opened yourself up to unfair discrimination again.
  5. Gaps are not always avoidable, but you should always explain them. Include any classes, training, volunteer work, travel, or other explanations for any gap in work experience longer than 3 months.
  6. An overcrowded resume will go straight into the trash. Consider yourself warned.
  7. If your GPA is less than 3.5, then take it off. You have no bragging rights.
  8. If you went to trade school, college, university, or even did some certifications, take high school off your resume. It just makes it easier for recruiters to assume your age.
  9. Recruiters know that your objective is to get a job, period. For whatever reasons. Focus on telling them how you’re their next great hire.
  10. Don’t put incomplete dates on your resume. You need to have the start and ending years at minimum. Preferably months too, especially if you worked somewhere for less than 1 year.

Published by Kim-Lee Patterson

Kim-Lee Patterson is an editor and author from Ontario, Canada. Since 2011, she’s edited for a variety of clients, ranging from job seekers and students to business owners and book authors. Her versatile editing style and her ability to mimic other styles are some of the things that her clients love about her and her work.

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