Some Resume Tips and Blunders: One of the responsibilities that I have at my current Job in a small business is the HR department. In that capacity I thought to write down some of the mistakes that I see that quickly tell me if a candidate is worth an interview or not. Anyone in the field with suggestions and comments should feel free to please contribute. Your resume: While not conclusive either way, the resume is your first impression you put forward to your prospective employer. It certainly doesnt tell the whole positive story but it does tell the reader a lot about you and as its a prepared document you should make the best impression with it that you can. Spend a few extra minutes making sure it's done correctly and avoid some of the issues I have listed below. 1) Email Address: One of my biggest issues before I even open the resume is the email address that an applicant uses. It immediately tells a lot about the candidate. With all the options available to people as far as email addresses goes one should choose an email address with their name and thats it. If your name is Sarah or John Smith your email address both that you mail your resume from and that is included on your resume as a contact should be to the effect of Sarah_Smith@(insert your email service here). Please, If your chat room name is sexy_two_shoes or Thick_Latino, your prospective employer doesnt need to know that. (I promise I have had that). 2) Spelling Mistakes: Know what those red squiggly lines represent in Microsoft word? Thats happens you spell something wrong. Nowadays, there is no excuse to submit a resume that has any spelling mistakes at all and all it accomplishes is to tell your employer that either you dont pay much attention to detail or you dont care all that much. 3) Be Like Santa (Make a list and) Check it Twice: Read your resume. Then read it again. After that give it to your friend to read it for you and see how someone else who doesnt know what to expect sees your resume. Sometimes you mean something and because you expect your writing to say something you dont pick up on mistakes that others might. You would be surprised at how many silly mistakes can be avoided that way. I once received a resume from a woman who claimed she worked for the Broad of Ed. (spell check would not have noticed the error as broad is a word) She wasnt for the job but I wanted to help her anyway because the resume was otherwise OK and when I pointed out her error she emailed back that I was an A-Hole and she wouldnt want to work for me anyway. Oh well... 4) Make sure you know the meaning of words you are using: If you use words that are big and sound fancy make sure you look them up first otherwise you will end up just looking foolish. One applicant wrote that he was a Barrister (an English attorney) and then proceeded to enumerate his responsibilities as said barrister. Served coffee, made drinks etc. (He meant Barista). Is this a cardinal sin? Of course not. It just looks silly. 5) Objective: This is a personal thing I have. Common resume thinking as evidenced by resume templates is to write an objective into your resume. Something like Seeking Growth in an Organization that will blah blah blah The resume objective says where you want to go and what your goals in employment are. As an employer I am not really sure why I would want to know that. Lets be frank. I am not looking to hire because I am a philanthropist. I put my ad in Monster.com that you responded to because I am looking to build my business and to pay my rent. What I want to know is what you can do for me and why I should hire you over anyone else. In a stack of resumes why are you the best fit for this job? I personally feel that you are better served in getting the attention of the prospective employer by writing a brief summary of your skills and how you feel you can benefit the organization you want to be hired by. 6) Cover Letter: A cover letter is nice but not required. If you do use one I suggest that you write what I listed above in point 5 into your cover letter. List briefly your skills, why you could make a difference in the company and why you would like an opportunity to meet with the HR person to better explain what you can bring to the table if hired. Add your contact info and thats about it. 7) Communicate, communicate, communicate: After you send your email with your resume, make sure you check your email account to see if you have been contacted. One of my biggest pet peeves is when an applicant emails a resume and then doesnt bother following up. Its unprofessional on the professional level and simply rude on the personal level. 8) Finally if you get an interview set up: Be there (show up) and do so on time. If for whatever reason you can't, let them know you are running late. Its a common courtesy and one that you would expect be accorded you. Imagine if you scheduled the interview and showed up only to find the interviewer didnt show. You wouldnt be happy. They have carved out a portion of their busy day for you. Respect that. I am sure I will have some more things to add but this is a starting point.