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Are you preparing a CV? It’s natural to want to tell potential employers everything about yourself, but some things are better left unsaid.
Remember, you have limited space to convince someone you would be a good hire. So avoid including anything that might offend or cause an employer to question your skills.
Below are some key things to avoid on your resume.
Criticism of previous employers
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A surefire way to put off a potential employer is to waste space on your resume by criticizing previous employers or bosses. You may feel justified in your criticism, but the purpose of a resume is to demonstrate talent and ability, not to voice grievances.
Do not give potential employers the impression that you are disloyal or generally annoyed. Instead, write about your positive relationships and achievements. Tell people about the good things you can bring to their business if they give you the opportunity.
Excuses for past troubles
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If you have been fired or fired from a job, you may feel the need to explain the situation on your resume. It’s natural to want to tell your side of the story, especially when you feel like you’re not to blame.
However, it’s easy to spend too much time talking about disappointments and missed opportunities. You might give the impression that you take no responsibility for your own mistakes.
A better approach is to write about past accomplishments. If you are asked to explain a resignation or dismissal in an interview, be honest but brief. Let people know you’re focused on the future.
If an applicant lists skills that are unrelated to job performance, it may appear that he or she has no valuable skills to demonstrate. Instead, describe things you learned that improved your performance at work. For example:
Do you have good internet skills? Have you undergone any special training to improve your contribution in previous jobs? Are you going to school to get an advanced degree or certificate?
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Focus on recent accomplishments on your resume. If something happened 10 or 15 years ago, potential employers might get the impression that your successes are behind you.
So ditch the Cub Scout Merit Badge.
Bad grammar and spelling
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If you submit a resume with spelling, typos, or grammatical errors, you probably won’t get an interview. Even if you work in a field where using the right language seems unimportant, most employers want to know that their employees have good communication skills.
Grammar mistakes on your resume may indicate that you are careless and possibly unreliable. A flawless resume lets recruiters know you’re serious about the job.
Too much information
Recruiters only have a limited amount of time to review applications. So be brief.
When screening applicants, recruiters look for experience, education, and previous employment. When you write in great detail about every job you’ve ever had, you can become overwhelmed. Worse, the information that makes you stand out as an applicant may be overlooked.
In most cases, submitting a page or two of information is sufficient. In the interview you can expand your qualifications.
Anything that isn’t true
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You may be tempted to exaggerate skills, training, or achievements. However, this is always a mistake. Once you put something in writing, you can’t take it back. Even if it helps you get a job, the lie can surface again years later and damage your reputation or your career.
So don’t overdo your qualifications. If you do not have a university degree, describe your professional training. The best way to get a resume full of accomplishments is to do work you’re proud of.