4 Things to Stop Doing on your Resume Right Now
Washington’s No. 1 marketing recruiters share surprising resume mistakes that may be holding you back
You’re ready for that next career opportunity. Your experience is strong, and you’ve worked hard putting together a resume. So why aren’t you getting called for that first interview?
There are many reasons why a potential employer hasn’t contacted you (see “Why Haven’t They Called?”), many of which are entirely beyond your control. But sometimes, it’s the little things you do that signal to an employer that you may not be someone they want to meet. You might be hurting your chances without even realizing it.
This year, be resolved to stop making these common mistakes on your resume. Avoid the following “resume don’ts” :
1. Stop using a cutesy e-mail address.
“SteveDaMan” and “CatLady7” might have seemed like catchy e-mail handles when you first created them 10 years ago—and they might do the job for communicating with your Fantasy Football message board or your book club—but be sure the e-mail address you list on your resume presents a polished and professional tone.
TIP: Create an e-mail account using your name (Doe@gmail.com) or some variation of your name and professional background (JaneDoeMarketer@gmail.com). Many job seekers find it helpful to create a specific e-mail account used only for job search purposes.
2. Likewise, stop using obsolete e-mail systems.
Today’s hiring companies want professionals who are tech-savvy and up on the latest trends. That means if you come in using an outdated e-mail account—think AOL, Juno or Hotmail—you’ll be perceived as out of touch with today’s technology.
TIP: Create a Gmail account for job search communication. Even if you’ve used that AOL account forever and are reluctant to give it up, at least create a Gmail account with a rule to automatically forward to your preferred personal account.
3. Stop yourself at two pages, max.
If you have a lot of experience, it may be tempting to list every last detail on your resume. But the inability to edit yourself can work against you, signaling that you may lack the ability to prioritize, focus or understand your audience.
TIP: LinkedIn is an ideal place to provide more in-depth detail about your experience. Keep your resume short and to the point, but refer to your LinkedIn profile for more specifics.
4. Stop putting your address on your resume.
This one feels like it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. After all, don’t you want to be as forthcoming—and as easy to reach—as possible? Yes, but in today’s world of security and privacy issues, job seekers are increasingly opting out of listing personal information on resumes. Not only that, but your address is not pertinent to your professional qualifications—don’t give the employer any frivolous reason to count you out based on where you live.
TIP: Include your name, phone number, and an e-mail address, but not your home address.
While these tips are simple, they can go a long way toward helping you get that first interview or make the initial cut. Avoid these “resume don’ts” to improve your chances of getting to the next round. Don’t hurt your chances simply because of these small oversights!
Are you ready to consider a career change within the marketing and communications field? TorchLight, one of the Washington area’s leading search and staffing firms, is always looking for great marketing talent for our clients. View our open jobs now and upload your resume to our database.