10 Resume Red Flags

Resume Tee & Red FlagsWith unemployment high and so many candidates competing for so few positions, the strength of your resume is even more important than ever.  I found this great breakdown of “don’ts” at Investopedia.com a great site for info on basic economic concepts and financial information.  While we have done resume posts in the past, this list really gets into some of the mistakes folks have been making lately in their attempts to make their resume stand out against the sea of resumes that recruiters are swimming in.

21 Responses to “10 Resume Red Flags”

  1. Wyvonnie Tubbs

    One of the don’ts that I have learned during my time at Allen School is not to give too much information. Giving too much information will guarantee that you will not be called for an interview. Give information for that specific job only and keep it short, this way the interviewer will be able to have questions to ask you about yourself.

    Wyvonnie Tubbs

  2. Emilia Ciardullo

    While we were on our break in December I took a class at one of our local job assistance centers for a cover letter/ resume program, with a college career instructor. I wanted to post the notes I took in her class that helped me put togther my resume and hopefully will be of assitance to you.

    Your resume will be written to look appealing to the eye. This is best accomplished by keeping in mind:

    Structure looks clean and flows well.
    Very easy to read/not at all complicated.
    Easily understood with simple wording and phrases.
    Contains good overall balance.
    Not crowded/contains plenty of white space.
    Sections are concise and shorter when possible.
    All formatting should be offered consistently. Not too heavy on the bolding, italics and underlining. This should only be used for best effect and not in uniformity.

    Your resume will be your front line of communication. Before you meet your prospective employer, your employer will meet you via your resume.

    Your resume will be error free. This means free or typo’s, improper spelling, poor grammar, lack of punctuation and no errors in facts.

    Key Information Included In Your Resume:

    Positions held list
    Reverse chronological order
    Education credentials
    Degrees attained
    Targeted information as necessary
    Positions Held List Will Include:

    Position title
    Name of company
    City and state of company
    Years there
    Earlier held positions can be summarized
    Part time work can be excluded

    Your resume will be targeted to show your suitability for the desired position. This position will be a goal you wish to achieve. You will be able to show how and why you are the best candidate for this position. Your resume will show you are uniquely qualified and should be chosen.

    Your resume will contain no filler. You will only highlight your best and this will be expertly brought across by the use of strong, clear wording and phrases that are descriptive and colorful. Your resume writing will persuade and cause your employer to want to know more. You will hint at attributes, not giving out too much information. You want your employer to feel compelled to bring you in for the interview. Your resume will grab the eye through the use of design, formatting and proper balance.

    Your resume will impact. The prospective employer will immediately grasp your meaning and will not feel the need to read through entirely.

    Your resume will contain powerful words and statements that will convey a message of impressive credentials and experience. Show you will get the job done better than anyone else.

    Write about your qualifications through clear statements about what you have accomplished. Don’t bore them with long-running lists of your potential, talents, or previous job responsibilities.

    Show the exact results of your targeted accomplishments. Make good use of adjectives to show the extent of your skills and experiences. This will show you are results-oriented.

    Write to be concise and keep to the point. Write sentences as short and direct as you can. Eliminate all repetitions. Don’t use several examples when one example has the same impact. Avoid trying to impress by using larger words. Be as direct as possible and avoid complex sentences.

    Use good variety by offering short and punchy sentences along with sentences that are longer. Don’t repeat a power verb within the same paragraph. Punctuate throughout for easy reading.

    Create a work of art! Use the best supplies for your resume. Use a laser printer or an ink jet printer to produce the best results. Use a good-sized typeface (font) in 11 or 12 point. Use off-white, ivory or bright white 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, in high quality. Submit a resume without smudges, staples and leave a generous border.

    A shorter resume is often best, however, if what you need to write takes up 3 pages, then offer 3 pages. There is no hard and fast rule for resume length.

    Just make certain you don’t bore them with the details. Always leave them wanting to know more. Remember, you are marketing yourself and not your entire life history.

    Add good variety. Break it down into sections. Your resume will contain no more than six lines of writing in any one writing section or paragraph (summary, skill section, accomplishment statement, job description, etc.) If you require more, start a new section or a new paragraph.

    Submit an accurate telephone number with area code. Be sure the phone number on the resume will be answered in-person or by an answering machine, Monday through Friday, from 8-5pm. You want to be available when invited in for that important interview.

    If you don’t have an answering machine, buy one. Include your e-mail and fax numbers as an alternate means of reaching you.

    Omit any kind of information that can be seen as being controversial, such as political affiliations.

    Start each section with your most important information on the first line. This will be read the most.

    Use bold caps to highlight. Your name, section headings, skill headings, titles or companies, degrees, and school name can all be written in boldface. Your name should be on top of each page of your resume.

    Do NOT Put This Information On Your Resume

    RESUME at the top of the your resume
    Flowery “objective” statements
    Salary information
    Addresses of former employers
    Why you left your previous jobs
    The names of supervisors
    Detailed references

    While you definitely want to sell yourself, you want to do this honestly. Do not inflate the truth to put yourself in a better light. You will need to be able to back up all claims about yourself.

    All the best to Allen School Graduates !
    Emilia Ciardullo

    • Tracey Rhymes

      Resumes, are very important when searching for a job, I have been employed most of my life until recently, when I was looking for a job 15 years ago, you would walk into the establishment fill out an application have an interview and they would call you there was no need for resumes back then. Well things have certainly changed now you must have a resume that fits the description of the job you are applying for or the computer will not pick up your resume not even for review. so remember to tailor your resume ti the job posting.

  3. Angela Salisbury

    I know how important resumes’ are to get the call for the interview. Making sure you really show the good qualities you possess as an employee. I do believe that the interview, once you get it, is really where you need to shine. I feel that you can really show all aspect of the good qualities you have, and really sell yourself. I feel the more confident you are the more it shows through. The cover letter too, can really get you that call for the interview as well. I do think that Allen School really builds are confidence to get us that interview and then job.
    Angela Salisbury
    Soon to be Allen School graduate

  4. Subrina Chowtie

    The information which you include on your resume and the outline of your resume will cause a great impact on the whether or nor you get “the call” for an interview. Here are some do’s and don’t’s:

    -Do consider a bulleted style to make your resume as reader-friendly as possible.

    -Don’t get overwrought about the old “one-page resume rule.” It’s good to keep your resume to one page, if possible, but if you have a lot of experience, two pages may be more appropriate. If your resume spills beyond one page, but you have less than a half a page of material for the second page, it may be best to condense to one page.

    -But don’t go beyond two pages with your resume.

    -Do consider a resume design that doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Many jobseekers use Microsoft Word resume templates and wizards. There’s nothing wrong with them, per se, but your resume won’t look distinctive if you use one; it will look like the resume of everyone else who used a Word template. These templates and wizards can also be a bit inflexible to work with.

    -Don’t use justified text blocks; they put odd little spaces between words. Instead, make your type flush left.

    -Don’t ever lie on your resume.

  5. Tracy Burkholder

    I personally have learned so much about improving my resume and cover letter. I knew that they were important, but it has been ten years since I needed to put myself out there. It is very important to have a cover letter with your resume, make sure your resume is one or at max two pages long, and keep your references on a separate page to hand the interviewer upon request. When the interviewers are skimming through the resumes they are looking for key words. If your resume has any of these key words and you get an interview be sure to sell yourself. Let them know how valuable you really are and what you could do that would be beneficial to their business.

  6. Jenica Weaver

    Sometimes a simple resume can be a scary thing because you may not be sure how simple or how detailed it should be. I have learned to do some research on the company that you are applying to; in order to list items on your resume that the employer would want to see. Also you would be able to answer any questions the employer may have during an interview. In addition, you could have a friend or a relative look at your resume to have their opinion on any changes or advice. Just remember it never hurts to ask for help.

  7. Stacy Best

    Wow! After reading this post shows me just how many actual blunders I’ve made during an interview. Often times some of these blunders I’ve made were due to plain old fashion nervousness or anxiety simply because I might not have known how to respond. Has anyone ever gone to an interview feeling as though you were prepared just to arrive and felt like you had a dunce cap on your head once the interviewer realized you were way over your head? Well, that was me during an interview when an office manager asked me to explain I wanted the job. The only thing that ran through my mind was, “Lady I need the money, and I figure I can pay my bills with this job.” I know what you all are thinking, so pathetic, right?

    Well I’ll tell you something, it was sad, but I’m happy to say that after completing a Career Development course at the Allen School Online, it truly helped to put this interview thing into a clearer perspective. During a mock interview session with one of their many great instructors, boy did I have a lot to learn. I learn several techniques to improve my interviewing skills, and how to basically sell myself and experiences.

    If there is any out there like me who’s looking to branch off into a whole new career path, then I’m sure you’re just as insecure as I am. Sure I am loads of years and experience in customer services and administrative skills, but entering the medical industry is a different ball game. However, my instructor showed me and encouraged me to use the skills I do possess and explain during an interview how those skills can be utilized in a different arena. Boy was I blown away! All I needed was to hear another perspective on this thing, and it became like light bulb in my head, and that’s why when begin my career search, I am going to plan, plan, plan as this article suggests. I am going to plan for interviews by holding mock interviews of my own using a relative or a friend. I’m going have someone ask me the most questions that usually leaves stumped and work on them and my answers, and I’m to sell my 15 years worth of experience and try my best to ensure an employer that he or she still need my set of skills even in this absolutely different field.


  8. Jan Plummer

    The Allen School MIBC12 class taught me so much about how to really sell myself in both my resume and my cover letter. I always interview fairly well, but these days getting the interview can be exceptionally challenging. The cover letter and resume are the first chance and maybe the last you have to introduce yourself. In this course, our classmates reviewed one another’s resumes and made very specific suggestions for improvement. I especially like one of the assignments for selecting power adjectives to describe yourself and then incorporating them into the cover letter and resume. My resume was entirely too long and full of unnecessary and repetitive information. I was able to tighten up the verbage by using bullets, instead of wrapping the text and incorporate powerful verbs to start each statement. The students in the course were candid about my cover letter which forced me to change the way I had been writing cover letters for years. I sounded too dry and needed to let more of my true personality come through. The end result was that in the 5th unit week, I used my resume to obtain an interview and be one of two people considered for a job. The salary was too low and I had to respectfully decline, but the office asked me to consider doing some part-time contract work to get my foot in the door. Just this past week, I inquired aout a potential position with my own physician’s office which resulted in another interview scheduled for next week for a potential consulting position doing what I love the most, managed care contracting! I am very pleased with the improvements that the MIBC12 course facilitated for my resume,cover letter, and interview skills. I also had a friend that was interviewing for a position at the hospital with whom I shared the practice interview questions and responses. She said that they asked her a good many of these exact questions and would likely offer her the job! These are real examples of the value of the Allen School program.
    Jan Plummer

  9. Evelin Grimaldo

    At my most recent class (MIBC12) I’ve learned how to sell myself to the interviewer through my resume and cover letter. I’ve also learned that its very important to make sure your resume shows how much experience you have with previous employers. One thing I’ll always keep in mind is “writting too much can cost you a job!”

  10. Sheri Pettway

    Social Networking and Finding a Job

    Social Networking is quickly on the rise and is also another way for job seekers to search for jobs.

    The first network I will talk about is linkedin.com. This is a must for anyone seeking a new job. It’s grown massively in the recent past and is full of people looking to make connections in the job arena. A lot of people on linkedinc.com are recruiters which makes it even more exciting and useful. You will just need to register with your email address and complete your personal profile. It is free of charge unless you want to contact existing users and invite them to join your network.

    Twitter is not widely recognized as a recruiting tool but I am sure when the owners figure out a way to make money with it, it soon will be. To sign up go to http://www.twitter.com and get a free account. Enter some personal information and you are ready to go. You can even post a link to your own web page, myspace page, facebook or to your linkedin profile (from above). You can also add a photo. Next, you’ll need to start finding contacts. You can search for specific key words or for employer names, locations, industry type or job title perhaps the possibilities are endless. When you find people who you feel might be able to help you, just click on the “Follow Me” button and you’ll receive any posts they put on Twitter. You can always tweet that you are looking for a job, you never know.

    Most people subscribe to blogs to receive information based on their interests. These sources of information keep us updated on what is happening in certain industries or different trends that are developing. In the past few years, the larger blogs have started to integrate job banks into their own websites to get more traction and clicks. Sign up to receive blogs updates to your email and you are 1 step ahead of the job hunt.

    Video Resume
    The key with a video resume is that very few people have actually created one, so they serve as a differentiator in the recruiting process. A good video resume is short, describes the value you can contribute to a given position or company, explains why you’re the best person for the job and talks about your background. This tactic works best if you have a lively and creative personality. Since you’re filming yourself, be patient because you can always try it again or edit it before you upload the final version to YouTube or some other video sharing website. You can also send this link along with your paper resume’ so that the employer can add a face or personality to your resume’.

  11. Marti Van Hoose

    I have two challenges in seeking employment: conveying the transferability of my many talents into the specifics of billing and coding; and accounting for employment time while I have been essentially self-employed. I have an extensive sales and marketing background and I have been self employed since 2003. Certain talents, like my organizational skills, do transfer well, but I am fearful that the interviewer will be looking for actual coding experience, which I do not have yet. Also, I am fearful that they will look at employment going back to the 80’s and realize that I am in my mid 50’s! Everybody thinks they want someone young. But the older employee is usually more dedicated to the position, has more patience and is mature. They know how to handle themselves in an office setting and are deemed potentially more responsible. At least that’s whay I hope they will realize!

  12. I have personally interviewed hundreds of people for positions. Keep your resume concise and to the point, do not over embelish. Let the person interviewing you ask questions if information is not clear or there. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, runs in hose or mis-matched shoes and unpolished shoes do detract and do not give positive impressions. Make sure you are well groomed. Do not wear a cologne or perfume, the person interviewing could be allergic. Always arrive 15 minutes early, being late shows a sign of laziness. If you don’t know an answer, say you don’t, but also add you will find out. Do not start out asking about vacations, paid holidays off. This is a red flag. Don’t put references on your resume, just say references provided upon request. If you are asked for some, have a separate document prepared with the information. You are interviewing the company as well as they are interviewing you. Always look them up on the internet. I recommend Mantra. It is free, but gives you an idea of gross revenues, companies date of inception, what they actually do and their Owners. If you want the job, ask for it, if you don’t ask you do not get it, and it shows confidence and sincerety. Make sure and check for grammar and punctuality and spell check. Have a friend or friends read over your resume. If you have a contact in the field have them look at your resume and take the corrective critisim. Above all else be confident, in the medical field age is not really a factor but a plus.
    I continue to revise my resume, I never like mine and some people love it.

    Good luck to all,
    Sharlene Claytor

  13. Becky Kelly

    I found this topic to be very helpful. It provides me with all the essential information needed to better my Resume and Cover sheet. This page offers many replies as to do’s and don’ts of writing resumes. During our course one assignment was to write a Resume. But the only feed back I got was suggestions. I thought part of the instructors job was to help us make a great resume and once assignment was completed they would make the necessary changes to perfect it for us. I will save this page and refer to it to make necessary changes on my resume. Example Leave out past employer addresses. Leave them wanting to find out more about you. Provide only essential information to the job you are applying for.

  14. As for myself, I’ve never had to use a resume to get a job. I’ve always been hired in more informal ways, or I’ve applied to jobs that never needed them. My husband has always worked at companies that required a resume and so it has always been extremely important for him to have his up to date.

    On an interesting note, my sister has a friend who likes to party, etc., and her would-be employer looked her up online after an interview. When he did, he was able to find some suggestive photos of her (she posted them herself) and he let her know over the phone that she was not the person they were looking for.

    Your resume isn’t always on paper, so to speak.

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