Common Mistakes When It Comes To Writing Your First Resume

The most common mistake made by people who attempt to​ put together their first resume is​ that they put in​ too much information. They want to​ describe everything that they have ever done from the​ moment of​ conception to​ the​ present. the​ resume ends up being too long,​ and nobody will read it.

The most important piece of​ information that you should retain is​ that your resume,​ no matter how well it​ is​ put together,​ will only get a​ 15 to​ 30 second review by the​ person who does the​ initial screening.

That person is​ normally someone in​ Human Resources whose job is​ to​ look at​ hundreds of​ resumes per day. You must create your resume in​ such a​ way that it​ gives all the​ information they need in​ a​ maximum of​ 30 seconds.

There is​ information that,​ under most circumstances,​ should not be in​ a​ resume. This includes:
• Your age or​ date of​ birth
• Religious or​ political affiliations
• Reasons why you left your last job
• Your Social Security Number
• Health restrictions or​ physical limitations
• Any sentence that has "do not,​" "cannot,​" or​ "unable"

Age or​ Date of​ Birth

I repeat,​ you should not put your age or​ date of​ birth in​ a​ resume. in​ the​ US,​ an​ employer has no legal right to​ know your age. an​ employer can ask you only if​ you are over the​ age of​ 18 for insurance liability reasons or​ if​ local,​ state,​ or​ federal law requires that employees be over a​ certain age.

Therefore,​ if​ you’re concerned that your age will be a​ factor,​ don't list the​ date you graduated from high school or​ the​ years that you received any of​ your degrees. I received my undergraduate degree in​ 1962. Can any of​ you guess my age?

Religious Affiliations or​ Political Affiliations

It’s generally recommended that you stay away from listing a​ particular type of​ religion or​ political party affiliation. However,​ being active in​ your community or​ church can sometimes be a​ positive factor in​ many large companies,​ so you should make general statements about your participation in​ activities that support the​ community. Volunteer work for a​ charity group would be a​ positive example but active support for an​ environmental group could raise some eyebrows.

Reasons for Leaving Previous Jobs

We’ve become a​ mobile society and longevity in​ a​ position is​ now considered two years. People accept new jobs for many reasons. if​ you left your last job because of​ differences with your supervisor or​ company philosophy,​ I don't recommend that you put that information in​ your resume. the​ reader will probably get a​ negative impression of​ you. if​ you couldn't get along with your last company,​ you probably won't get along here.

If the​ job application asks you to​ give reasons for leaving your last job,​ a​ safe and truthful answer could be that you were offered a​ better position. “Better” could mean a​ pay raise,​ better working hours,​ better office environment,​ or​ newer equipment.

Your Social Security Number (SSN)

The exceptions to​ this are federal resumes sent for civil service positions. a​ prospective employer can ask for your Social Security Number in​ an​ application - that is​ normally a​ requirement for employment. However,​ putting your SSN on​ a​ resume could lead to​ disaster.

You’ll be sending out many resumes; you won’t know who’ll be reading them. it​ doesn't cost much money to​ put a​ small want ad in​ the​ newspaper or​ on​ an​ Internet employment site,​ and a​ dishonest person can run a​ fraudulent ad.

If someone knows your SSN,​ he can apply for credit cards or​ other important documents,​ such as​ duplicate SSN cards,​ with the​ information you normally provide on​ a​ resume. Be alert if​ someone other than in​ the​ civil service asks for your SSN.

Information about Health and Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act has changed the​ way businesses in​ the​ US recruit and hire an​ employee. Generally,​ an​ employer has no legal right to​ know your health status. the​ only health-related questions that an​ employer can ask are job related.

If the​ job description requires that you lift 50 lbs,​ the​ employer has the​ legal and legitimate right to​ ask in​ the​ interview if​ you can do this. He can also state the​ requirement in​ his ad. He cannot ask you if​ you have back problems,​ diabetes,​ or​ have had a​ heart attack unless the​ job,​ such as​ airline pilot,​ requires perfect health.

Find out your legal rights if​ you live outside the​ US.

Marital Status

I’ve added marital status because this is​ another issue that can work against you,​ particularly if​ you’re a​ single parent. I know some people will disagree,​ but single parents have the​ highest absentee rate in​ the​ work force.

Companies will try to​ avoid hiring a​ single parent if​ at​ all possible. However,​ in​ the​ US they cannot ask you your marital status or​ if​ you have children. Don't volunteer this information on​ the​ resume.

If asked this question in​ an​ interview,​ the​ proper response could be,​ "Can you tell me what this has to​ do with the​ position I’m applying for?" That should end the​ questioning on​ this issue if​ the​ interviewer does not want to​ face a​ lawsuit.

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