Resumes are kind of ridiculous when you think about it. We list our accomplishments and skills on a neat little paper and turn it over to potential employers, internally screaming ‘Please like me! I’m good at stuff! See?’
Trying to impress said potential employers with the small but mighty resume is a daunting task. But surely, anyone particularly concerned with how to write a resume has taken a seminar or just Googled some advice on the matter. So, here’s a different take on the world of resumes – here’s what not to do.
Don’t be like Elle Woods.
In 99 percent of life, I encourage you to be like Elle Woods. However, in this one instance, do not follow Elle Woods’ lead. As tempting as it may sound, under no circumstances should you make your resume pink and/or scented. Ever. Employers want to learn about your personality, but… not that much.
Don’t list skills and achievements that are irrelevant to the job position.
It’s awesome if you binge-watched all of Doctor Who in a week. If you slay the competition in Mario Kart, that’s rad. But employers, most of the time, don’t care to know this information (unless your Whovian-ness or gaming skills will come in handy for the position – in which case, I suggest you just beg for the job on your hands and knees.) Quirky skills are great for your personal life, but not so much for your professional life. Try not to waste anyone’s time by presenting information that isn’t relevant to your career.
Don’t suddenly decide that you have an inner graphic designer desperate to be freed.
As in, don’t get too funky with your resume layout by adding clipart, six different fonts and rainbow lettering. Clean, simple lines and a readable font will do just fine. Getting creative is great, and in some instances, may make you stand out from your competition. But don’t let your design experiments take away from what is actually important on your resume – its content.
Don’t list skills that you don’t actually possess.
It’s easy to exaggerate your awesomeness on your resume. Plenty of people do it, I’m sure. But here’s the thing: if you exaggerate things you can’t do, then you’re kind of diminishing the many things you truly can do. Don’t sell yourself short. Have faith that you can get the job just by being yourself!
Resume writing is a tricky business – after all, a piece of paper could never fully do you justice. If you can find a happy medium between having fun creating it and remaining professional, though, you’ll undoubtedly craft something that will catch future employers’ eyes.