Five Things to Avoid in your Resume

You may be the best person for the job. You send your resume, but no one is calling you to interview. If this sounds familiar, take a second look at your resume.

Here are five things you MUST avoid if you want your resume to stand out and get you an interview.

1. Avoid passive language.

You want your resume to show your passion for work. Passive language sounds dull and impressive.

Can you hear (and feel) the difference in the following lines?

  • Orientation training for new employees (passive)
  • Experience conducting orientation training for new employees (active)

Five Things to Avoid in your ResumeThere’s no action in passive language. Employers want to hire people with passion for the job.

2. Don’t just list previous duties.

Almost anybody can do any job. Odds are that someone is doing your old job. You want to show an employer that you did it best.

Instead of simply listing job details, list your achievements. You may have answered phones, but were you instrumental in the having the company upgrade their phone systems?

Did your customer service skills help decrease the number of customer complaints? If so, then say so. You get the idea.

Let the employer see you as an achiever, not just a good worker.

3. Don’t aim at nothing.

…You just might get it.

Look at your resume and make sure that it exactly fits the job you want. Avoid “one size fits all” resumes that hint at everything, but speak of nothing.

  • Determine what the employer wants. Read job postings carefully.
  • Next, show them you have what they need by presenting an active, achievement-focused resume.
  • Then, ask them to contact you for an interview.

4. Never state the reasons for leaving previous jobs.

Everything you say can be used against you.

Remember, you won’t be present alongside your resume to clarify any misunderstandings.

You can’t predict what an employer might consider genuine reasons for leaving a job. So, save that conversation for the interview.

5. Don’t forget who needs the information.

Arrange the information on your resume with the employer in mind. Employers want to know:

  • You have the required experience.
  • You are an achiever.
  • You have the required level of education.

Make these the focus of your resume. As you review your resume, ask yourself: “Does it portray me as a focused and qualified applicant?” If yes, your phone should be ringing soon.