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Quick Tip - 10 Things to Avoid When Writing Your Resume

You want your resume to stand out from the other piles of resumes stacked on the recruiter's desk. So you try to make it fancy with bright colors and fancy vocabulary. SMH (Please don't ever decorate your resume with fancy colors. Just don't). Formatting and structure is great, yes, but do bear in mind that content (and its accuracy) is way more important than how beautiful your resume looks.

Without further ado, here are 10 DON'Ts that every job applicant should adhere to when writing/updating their resumes.

  1. Do not use colored paper for your resume. Just don't, please.

  2. Avoid using graphics (scan codes etc) unless the job you’re applying for stresses on these types of graphics.

  3. Avoid using fancy vocabulary, unless your resume is a CV and you're a PhD professor who's applying for a teaching position in an ivy league college. Use plain/simple language and be direct in your description of duties.

  4. Do not make claims you can’t back up with facts. Nope.

  5. Avoid unclear descriptions of your job duties; be concise and specific.

  6. Avoid copying statements directly from websites. Plagiarism, plain and simple. Need I say more?

  7. Avoid using 1st person singular/plural pronouns (I, me, we, my) and 3rd person singular pronouns (she, he, her, him). e.g. Don't: I did all accounting duties with my manager, and did everything she told me to do. Do: Performed all accounting duties as instructed by acting manager. Note: Using "They/them" is okay, depending on context used.

  8. Never use slangs or jargon (unless it's industry jargon and resume is tailored to specific job industry).

  9. Avoid using run-on sentences when describing your duties. Edit your sentences to ensure each point you make about your skill/experience is short, formal and to the point. E.g. Don't: I called clients to talk to them about the value of becoming a member of our organization Do: Made outbound calls to prospects to enlighten them on the value of membership with organization

  10. Finally, never have your resume remain in your folder as a static document. The resume is a living and ever-evolving document that should be updated regularly with any new skills or experience acquired.

Good luck!



This hub offers writing tips and resources to help YOU write more concise and savvy content -- be it resumes, articles, manuscripts, or any form of written communication.

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