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Top 10 Resume Blunders

Top 10 Resume Blunders

By Kim Isaacs | Monster Resume Expert

Make sure your resume is in top notch shape by avoiding the top 10 resume blunders:

1. Too Focused on Job Duties

Your resume should not be a boring list of job duties and responsibilities. Go beyond showing what was required and demonstrate how you made a difference at each company, providing specific examples. When developing your achievements, ask yourself:

• How did you perform the job better than others?

• What were the problems or challenges faced? How did you overcome them? What were the results? How did the company benefit from your performance?

• Did you receive any awards, special recognitions or promotions as a result?

2. Flowery or General Objective Statement

Many candidates lose their readers in the beginning. Statements such as “a challenging position enabling me to contribute to organizational goals while offering an opportunity for growth and advancement” are overused, too general and waste valuable space. If you’re on a career track, replace the objective with a tagline stating what you do or your expertise.

3. Too Short or Too Long

Many people try to squeeze their experiences onto one page, because they’ve heard resumes shouldn’t be longer. By doing this, job seekers may delete impressive achievements. Other candidates ramble on about irrelevant or redundant experiences. There is no rule about appropriate resume length. When writing your resume, ask yourself, “Will this statement help me land an interview?” Every word should sell you, so include only the information that elicits a “yes.”

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4. Using Personal Pronouns and Articles

A resume is a form of business communication, so it should be concise and written in a telegraphic style. There should be no mentions of “I” or “me,” and only minimal use of articles. For example:

“I developed a new product that added $2 million in sales and increased the market segment’s gross margin by 12%.”

Should be changed to:

“Developed new product that added $2 million in sales and increased market segment’s gross margin by 12%.”

5. Listing Irrelevant Information

Many people include their interests, but they should include only those relating to the job. For example, if a candidate is applying for a position as a ski instructor, he should list cross-country skiing as a hobby.

Personal information, such as date of birth, marital status, height and weight, normally should not be on the resume unless you’re an entertainment professional or job seeker outside the US.



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    RAR

    about 3 years ago

    14 comments

    What if you have no real job experiences because you became a housewife straight out of College? Does anyone have any advice on how to counter little experience on a resume?

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    askmiss1y

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    To ncbeck; Employers want to see that you're going to add value to their company. They want to see that you go beyond your job description and save your coworkers time by cutting out pointless work. I just updated my resume two days ago and already have offers. I've more than tripled my original job description and continue to help my coworkers out when they need it. Just my opinion but employers want their monies worth and then some.

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    lsayles

    over 3 years ago

    4 comments

    This was excellent advice. As an administrative assistant, our job is generally to support and handle duties and that is how our resumes generally read. Your comments had me think "If I had my own business how would I detail my duties" or "If I was on the hiring end, what would I want to read that would compel me to consider the candidate." I have now listed all promotions, given myself credit for temp assignments that led to direct hiring and added responsibilities. Thank You.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    TheBreckness

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Amen, amen, AMEN, susandavies and ymickas!!! That's it. After reading so many of these articles with conflicting information and with seemingly NO IDEA how to help people who aren't in sales or high level executive offices, I'm done. I'm going to put this as my Objective on my resume from now on: "Mac Daddy Admin Professional who will keep you on point at all times. I got you. Trust. Read below." Sheesh.

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    gutheim

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    It is a shame that this article posted an example that, again, has nothing to do with what admins do. It would've been more efficient to actually post an example that applies to the work that we do, such as: I developed an electronic process, repository and inventory to search for files. As a result, my co-workers spent less time looking for files. Also the comment regarding long boring lists... what we do isn't splitting atoms and isn't always an interesting read. Hello?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    omarayass12

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Thanks for the article, my resume reads a lot better now.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ncbeck

    over 3 years ago

    6 comments

    Yeah, we really need comment spam (last 3 posts). THAT really helps.

    As for the article, meh. I actually had a certified resume writer re-do my resume. I DO think it's better than what I originally had, but it still hasn't produced any results, except in the temp arena (and even that took about 6 months).

    Like another poster said, I'm tired of reading these how-to articles, how they're supposed to help you get the job. I've done all that, even used cover letters that the resume writer provided. It still hasn't worked. I've got a ton of years under my belt as an AA, but STILL no permanent offers. I even updated my skills to the latest MS Office Suite, still nada.

    For me, I'm interested in the job because I've been on temp jobs for long enough (and my COBRA is gone as of next month, because I can't afford it anymore). That's MY incentive (and keeping a roof over my head, among other things). If I wasn't interested or qualified for the AA job, do you think I'd bother sending a resume?

    So, we follow all this advice and still nothing. What the HECK do employers want?

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    almost 4 years ago

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    almost 4 years ago

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    ymickas

    almost 4 years ago

    10 comments

    My resume needs to be perfect like your article? I guess it is okay to have typos once you get a job and a paycheck, eh?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ymickas

    almost 4 years ago

    10 comments

    The statement "Developed new product line that added $2 million in sales and increased market segment's gross margin by 12%" is not a complete sentence because it has no subject. Any 4th grader knows this. If you are going for any kind of admin job, you cannot make statements that are not grammatically correct. Now you are telling us we have to make statements, avoid using personal pronouns in the subject and not use lists in our resumes? I am sorry, I have a problem with that.

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    kelleyking

    about 4 years ago

    42 comments

    We need samples of the successful resumes.
    I'd also like to see examples of objectives...I've completely dropped this from my resume because after reading all of these articles, I've yet to hit upon one that I feel is appropriate. One's objective is to get the job one is applying for, and then keep it, yes? If your goal is to move up in the company at some point, stating that in the resume objective turns the interviewer off because s/he feels you aren't that interested in the job at hand. I would love to see some really good Objectives.

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    KatWinter

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I'm with Esmeralda here. I keep reading how one needs to focus on 'achievements' but as an Admin, just how do you go about that without sounding ridiculous? "Successful at answering phones", "Kept President on time" just sounds absurd in my opinion. Except for a Cost Analysis project that I completed that I myself, can assign a dollar amount to, other than showing functional skills, how exactly is an Admin supposed to focus on achievements? Obviously you kept your job BECAUSE your were successful at doing a whole bunch of tasks. That's an achievement in itself.

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    susandavies

    over 4 years ago

    12 comments

    I've almost given up trying to create the perfect resume. I've read over a dozen "how to" articles on resume writing and each one was different. Nobody can agree on what the best format is. I've used bullet points for my skills, I've added a separate SKILLS section and listed my skills, I've removed my skills completely from the resume on the advice of a recruiter (presumably I would be asked about my skills in the interview and could list and expand on them at that time), I've cut my resume down to one page on the advice of another recruiter, I've lengthened my resume on the advice of another recruiter, I've removed the PERSONAL PROFILE on the advice of a recruiter, I've lengthened or shortened the PERSONAL PROFILE to target a specific job, again on the advice of a recruiter. Out of 158 job applications over the past five months I have had exactly SIX interviews, and been successful at none of them. I am finished with how-to articles; I will write my resume to portray my work history in a way that I think works best and hope for the future. Admit it - nobody knows what one system will work in every situation. Each interviewer has his or her own pre-set ideas of what they want to see, and because they don't request a certain resume layout in the job description then we're left hanging trying to figure out what it is that this particular interviewer wants. There is no right or wrong way - except in the eyes of the interviewer, and unfortunately none of us will know until AFTER the interview if we've met their silent criteria. Again - this article was not slanted towards Admin Assistants as it should be if it's going to be presented in Admin Secrets.

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