Ah! The joys of looking for work! It can be (and often is) challenging, frustrating, and filled with setbacks until the right fit is found. Of course you want to make sure that you present yourself in a professional manner, sharing pertinent and relevant information with a potential employer. There are, however, some rules of the road, if you will – things that should never be uttered. Resume etiquette is critical. The following is a short list of things that you should never, ever include on your professional resume:
Religion & Politics: This is a big no no. Like your political affiliation, religion is a contentious topic. Whatever faith or religion you practice has no place in your professional life, or on your resume – unless you are applying for a position at the Vatican. Religious and political preference does not impact the quality of your work, and have no bearing on how you will perform in a new role. Keep these private details to yourself. We are all entitled to our beliefs. Religion and politics are two areas that can quickly escalate into debate and more than heated conversations. This information is completely irrelevant to job related matters.
Former Boss & Co-workers: I don’t care if you thought your former boss was the worst human being you have ever met. (This applies to your former co-workers, too). Under no circumstances should you provide details ANYWHERE about your personal feelings. Less is more when it comes to job search. You need to remain positive and proactive. Dishing the dirt on a former boss / co-workers will not help you. In fact, quite the opposite can happen. You will be perceived as a whiner, troublemaker, and possibly worse. I have a great friend who always asks me: “What good can come of that?” when I present something that I want to say or do. If I cannot come up with a good answer, I let it go. Thanks, Chris.
Secrets & Lies: You cannot lie on your resume. Do not reference things you have never done. If you did not complete college, you cannot indicate that you have a degree. Companies complete background checks on their potential hires. Once found out, you will never get the offer. Similarly, if you like about your experience, when a hiring manager conducts a reference check you can easily be discovered. Keep it truthful. You do not want a stain on your reputation.
Matters Related to Health: Health issues have nothing to do with work. As long as you are able to perform the essential functions of the job, your high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or kidney transplant do not bear discussion.
Photograph: What you look like is not a measure of your skills. You should not include a picture on your resume. However, if you are applying abroad, this is a more common practice.
It goes without saying that you should always ensure that you exercise proper grammar and spelling on your resume and cover.
To ensure that your resume is perfect and delivers the right amount of information in a clear and compelling manner, have it reviewed by a strong resource. You could also opt for a professional preparation. You wouldn’t cut your own hair (hopefully). This document is too important to make careless errors. Some things are best left to professionals.
If you feel that you lack the writing skills or ability to market yourself effectively get the help of a professional to ensure the proper and effective creation of your personal brand.
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