Résumé Don's

Today we're going to focus on résumé don'ts, or the top seven ways your résumé might be standing in the way of you getting the job you want.

They're easy to fix, so if you're on the job hunt, take out your résumé and follow along.

DON'T be afraid to adapt the format of your résumé to fit your needs.

Many job hunters look online for the "right" way to format their résumé, but there isn't just one right way. Using a template you found online is a great way to get started, but the format that works well for one person might not be the best choice for another. And you might not see a template that seems to be the right fit for your experience at all. For instance, not everyone needs to divide up their job history between "work experience" and "leadership experience," as some templates indicate. For some people, this format would just look awkward. The important thing is making your résumé easy to read and understand at a glance. When it comes to formatting, this means consistency is key. If you use bullet points in one job description, use them for all of your job descriptions. If you bold face one job title, bold face all of them. And so on.

DON'T forget to include your contact information at the top, just below your name

No one can call you for an interview if they don't know how to reach you, so be sure to include your mailing address, an email address you check regularly, and at least one phone number.

DON'T forget to include an objective or career summary section near the top of your résumé

This is the section where you sum up in one or two lines who you are and what you have to offer. Not everyone cares about this section, but the hiring managers who do care about it NEED to see one.

DON'T shrink the margins in order to squeeze more information onto one page

Keep the margins at the classic 1" and your résumé will be much easier to read and understand at a glance. If it's absolutely necessary to use a second page, it's better to do so than to make your résumé cramped and hard to read. For that matter, don't make the font smaller than 10 point either, for the same reason.

DON'T include spelling or grammatical errors

In addition to spell check, you should be re-reading your résumé several times and having someone else check it for errors too before you submit it. As few as two errors can get your résumé thrown straight into the recycling bin.

DON'T use abbreviations

Write out the names of your schools, former employers, and job titles.  If you say you attended "CU" and worked at "JPMC" as a "QC Specialist," you might leave the hiring manager guessing about what you mean.

DON'T include every job you've ever had -

In your work history unless you have only had a couple of jobs in your life. Every job you list should be relevant in some way to the job you want, and this often means paring down what you include. If you are applying for a job as a college professor, there is no reason you should include your job as a Sonic car hop from seventeen years ago (yes, I've actually seen this exact scenario on a résumé ;).

If your résumé is guilty of any of these "résumé don'ts," make your changes before your submit it for another job. Happy job hunting!

Carissa Doshi is a business writer and the president of Gen Y Media Group. She gives career advice and blogs about her experiences on You can also follow @CarissaDoshi on Twitter.

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