The 12 cardinal sins of resumé writing

For new graduates, your resumé might be the most important piece of paper you own. Be sure you avoid these 12 critical mistakes when you write your resumé.

  1. Unprofessionalism: Using an extreme, unconventional format and structure will give the impression you are not to be taken seriously.
  2. Carelessness: A single typo or grammatical error sends the message that you don’t pay attention to details.
  3. Cuteness and cleverness: Unless your idea is ‘brilliant’ don’t take a chance with puns, a clever play on words or an attempt at humor. If it flops, you loose.
  4. Irrelevance and ‘Fluff’: You want to be taken seriously. Make everything on your resumé important.
  5. Vagueness or ‘Jargon’. Don’t assume the people who read your resumé will understand what you mean if you use unconventional language.
  6. Misrepresentation: Don’t lie or embellish the truth. You will always be caught or found out.
  7. Overkill: Don’t use excessive superlatives or subjective language.
  8. Underwhelming: Don’t just list what you did, talk about the impact of what you did.
  9. Long-Windedness: Don’t make the mistake of trying to make something simple better, by dressing it up with lofty language.
  10. Editorializing: Your opinions don’t belong on your resumé.
  11. Over Personalizing: Be professional not overly or too personal.
  12. Résumé Speak: Use simple language and avoid business clichés.