I held my first (free) Resume Writing Mistakes seminar last night in Apex, NC. On Monday night next week I hold an encore in downtown Asheville, NC at 6:30PM. If you’re in Western NC, I will also cover mistakes with cover letters and ways to optimize your presence on LinkedIn.
Here are a few resume mistakes I reviewed. Some might seem obvious, but one I recently read on a client’s outdated draft:
- Date of birth. There is no need to include personal details like your date of birth, marital status, medical conditions, or any other private matters. Federal legislation is in place that prevents employers from discriminating on these factors. Employers should not request these details from you and you should not offer them! Your resume is intended to show how valuable you are to an organization. Your birthday does not concern them.
- Stating the obvious. I often see individuals state ‘Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.’ and ‘Phone: 555.543.1234.’ Anyone who sees an email address knows not to dial it, and they know not to send an email to a phone number. Stating what each element is unnecessarily takes up space on the page that should be showcasing your skills and accomplishments.
- Font and font size. For some professionals, it is tough to squeeze a resume to two pages. One-page resumes are great, but that is not generally the case after one has established themselves in a field. Many people try to simply adjust the margins and font size to pack as much as they can on to fewer pages. This does not help hiring managers. Consider going no lower than a font size 11. When choosing your font – stick with serif fonts (Times New Roman) for technical, industrial, and medical fields, and choose a sans serif font (Arial) for creative, marketing, design, and similar positions.
I started offering resume writing services a few years ago and it’s become increasingly popular. I lead a session on Make a Living as a Writer this Saturday, March 12th at the Triangle Sisters in Crime One-Day Workshop in Cary, NC. One of the things I will discuss is having multiple streams of income. If you plan to or already rely on writing as your sole source of income–branching out into resumes and cover letters might be helpful to add to your offerings! What other ways do you capitalize on your writing?