How to Avoid the Killer Errors that get your Resume Shredded

So, you’re about to start making or updating your resume so you can go find your dream job (or hey maybe, just ANY job…in credit crunch 2008 that might be the best you can do for now). I know that it can seem impossibly difficult but it’s not that hard at all. However, it IS very easy to make a mess of it – And messed up resumes and CVs get “round filed” real fast (thrown in the bin) and round filed = no job interview. Yep, a poor resume means you stand 100% no chance. So you want to get it right – right?

Fear not. It’s not that hard at all – once you know what to avoid – and that’s what I’ll tell you now.

So what are the common mistakes that will mess your resume up?

**John Doe – No contact information**

Many people feel that because they’re sending a cover letter, they don’t need to include their name, address, phone number and email address at the top of their resume.

However it’s very common for cover letters to be separated from resumes by HR departments who then pass the resume to various other staff members for review. At this stage your contact information is very likely to be lost forever! I can tell you that it’s really irritating to receive a good resume with the right profile without a name or contact information.

So – Very important – Include all of your contact information at the top of your resume. Name, address, phone, email.

**What do you want to do? No objective**

Large organizations may have dozens of ads for employees advertised. If your resume goes first to an HR admin person for filtering then how will he or she know what job you’re applying for unless you state this in your resume as well as cover letter (again same dangers of lost cover letters apply so put it on the CV header too)

**What do you want to achieve? No goals or ambition?**

Not necessary in all cases. Use common sense. Under your name and contact information should be a heading about your career objective. You can break this into two categories. One should be for the position which you are seeking. The other can be what you hope to attain in the future.

If, for example, you’re hunting a job as a news reporter and have a career aim to be an editor or a features writer, then you could state this briefly in your resume as a career goal. This can be a handy indication that you’re a long term strategic thinker as well as a loyal employee who is keen to develop new skills and add value to the business.

As I say use common sense. If applying to small companies it may not be wise to indicate that you want the job of the person who’s recruiting you!

**You don’t have the right skills, goodbye! They’re not psychic you know!**

In any job no matter how junior there are skills required even if it’s just a summer job selling ice cream on the beach (hey that’s customer facing with a bit of sales you know!) Way to many CVs are thin on evidence of relevant skills.