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Saturday, September 5, 2009

ResuWe is in the Orange County Register - 5 WORST resume mistakes and how to avoid them.

5 WORST resume mistakes and how to avoid them.
Orange County Register, September 5th, 2009, 10:00 am · Post a Comment · posted by Mary Ann Milbourn

When looking for a job, the first step is your resume. Having a well written professional looking resume will improve your chances of getting a new job. The job seeker needs to understand how a company views your resume. Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to track and evaluate received resumes. The ATS digitizes your resume and ranks it based on the job description.

Here are the 5 WORST mistakes job seekers make on a resume and how to avoid them:

Improper Resume Template - Use MS Word doc only. MS Word doc files are the standard and easiest for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to upload and parse. If you use a PDF or web link the company will not be able to upload your resume into their ATS system and will simply delete your information.

No Keywords - You need to optimize your resume content and include as many keywords relating to your skills, experiences and technologies. When your resume is sent to a company, their ATS uses Boolean search strings and keyword matching technologies to score how your resume matches specific search criteria set for a position. If you don't include the relevant keywords your resume will be ranked lower and may not even be read.

Personal Information - If you feel compelled to list your hobbies, please don't mention Star Trek enthusiast, Spam throwing, or Hacky Sack record holder. Golf, running, and chess are safe. Also, provide links to your professional blog or Twitter page to promote your personal brand ONLY if you are 100% sure the content is professional.

Spelling Mistakes - Proofread. Since the company digitizes your resume into their ATS, spelling mistakes are even more obvious. Every text editor, MS Word, and Google Docs all have built in spell checkers. There are no excuses for typos!

Photos or Videos - Many companies have policies not to accept resume photos/videos for U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliance reasons.
Companies are challenged with the task of weeding through hundreds of resumes per day. They look at any distracting elements with scrutiny and interpret any nuances as a reason you are detracting from the content of your resume.

A resume screener is looking for any reason to reject your candidacy. Your resume has about 5-10 seconds of the person's time to show how you best fit their open job. Don't get deleted.

Dan Boersma is a recruiter who co-founded Laguna Source, a full time biotechnology and pharmaceutical staffing company and just launched, a free resume optimization and job search website. He also has a blog,

Link to OC Register Article:


  1. The word is résumé.
    The secret to pronouncing it correctly is to spell it correctly.
    Resumé is wrong.
    Resume is what your cruise control does.

  2. Resumes only became customary after World War II, as a means for employers to eliminate unqualified candidates among scores of GIs looking for new jobs. Not much has changed. Nowadays, nearly every individual, starting a job search, begins by developing a resume, but decision makers only spend and average of ten seconds scanning them. A resume cannot do the heavy lifting in a job search. Its purpose is strictly to function, in conjunction with a follow-up call, as a marketing tool to initiate a conversation with the decision maker. Your goal should be to present your background and accomplishments in a visually appealing, reverse chronological order, with dates, succinctly and honestly. Stay away from functional resumes, extensive formatting and leaving dates off to hide age. A resume is like Coco Chanel once said, “When a woman is badly dressed, you notice the clothes. When a woman is well dressed, you notice the woman.” You can’t build chemistry on deception.

  3. Love the Coco Chanel quote, it's dead on. I agree, the resume should be the first step in a series of connections with a potential employer. Your resume should be a just one tool on your belt, not all of them. Great post - all advice we give to job seekers with whom we meet.

  4. Write in details your previous job experience. Try to focus on your skills. Chose three skills that you feel your strong suits to focus on. Write about your couple of experiences that highlights your profile. how to write a good sample resumes


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