The 8 Worst Resume Mistakes of Tech Workers

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    resume_mistakesThink you’ve got a great resume? You don’t if its got one of these eight major mistakes:

    8: Excessive use of technical jargon

    Solution:
    As a tech professional, your resume needs to emphasize the technical skills that you possess. However, don’t overdo by it by turning your resume into an alphabet soup full of confusing acronyms. Instead, describe your skills in the context of on the job performance and the results you’ve achieved.

    7: Using an objective statement

    Solution:
    Objective statements are usually applicant focused and written like this –  ”seeking a position that will utilize my 10+ years experience and skills in application support”. This is bad because the statement makes it seem as though the applicant is expecting the employer to create a suitable job for them. Employers do create jobs for specific highly valued individuals that possess extremely unusual and desirable set of skills. However, that won’t happen for the majority of us – so your goal is to make yourself the sound like the best fit for the job in the pages of your resume.

    6: Including every job you’ve ever had

    Solution:
    I don’t believe in putting page limits on resumes – as you should use as much space as needed to tell the story of your career. However, with that being said if you have more than three years or experience – do not include the first  job you had stocking shelves at Wal-Mart when you were in high school.  Or if you have 10+ years of experience there is no need to include more than your last 7 years of work history. Employers are most interested in recent experience that directly pertains to the job they want to fill.

    5: Adding personal information 

    Solution:
    Your resume isn’t the place for personal expression. Avoid mentioning hobbies (unless specifically relevant to the position), marital status, children and other kinds of personal data. Keep it professional.

    4: Including any information that indicates your race, ethnicity or religious affiliation

    Solution:
    Pride in your heritage or religion is a good thing – however your resume isn’t the place for it.  Employers are extremely sensitive to such information during the hiring/employment process as any hint of seeming discriminatory can expose them to legal liability.

    3: Adding the statement  - “References available upon request”

    Solution:
    I doubt that there is any other phrase that dates a resume faster than those four words. using them makes your resume look amateurish and paints you as a professional that’s out of touch. Employers know how to ask you for references – so there is no need to waste precious space on such a truly meaningless statement.

    2: Over designing

    Solution:
    Fancy fonts, shading, borders and colors are best left out of your resume. The rise of ATS systems makes these adornments meaningless.  Instead, use a very standard font like Arial, Times Roman and Helvetica. The content (not the style) of your resume is what most important the employer.

    1: Misrepresenting your skills and experience

    Solution:
    Lying on your resume is unethical, unprofessional and downright dumb. Savvy hiring managers are skilled in identifying candidates that can’t do what they claim. Once its found that your lied you not only wasted your time and the time of the company’s team – you may end up on a blacklist that prevents you from further consideration for other jobs at the company. It’s tempting to embellish but you’re better off not doing it.

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      Filed in: IT Job Growth, Resume

      About the Author:

      I'm a technology career coach who helps IT professionals become successful employees and entrepreneurs. Follow me on twitter - @laboracademy

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