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Saving your Resume

Updated on June 1, 2013

Keeping your Resume from being Rejected

Your resume was rejected and you didn't get the job. Again? Why does this always happen? There must be some reason that your resume was tossed out. Believe it or not, there is! In fact, there are a lot of reasons an employer will toss out your resume! Anything from Typos to Lying will get your resume rejected. There are certain rules you need to follow to make your resume stand out. There are certain phrases you must avoid! And there are guidelines you should stick to when picking your references. Crafting a great resume is a true art.

Resume Mistakes

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

A resume is one of the most important things that you will ever write in your professional career. Why? Because it's what will get you a job to begin with! So, of course, you will want your resume to be the best it can be. What are some common mistakes that people make when writing this all important document, and how can you avoid making them yourself? Here are the most common mistakes a resume. A lot of people just don't spend enough time building their resume.

Too Much

It's okay to be proud of all of your accomplishments. However, you should use your resume to highlight your very best, and most relevant accomplishments. Trim out extra information. Knowledge of common software programs, repeated skills, and cliche phrases should be omitted. You can also cut out stuff like, "References available upon request." An employer will assume you have references.

Not Enough

While it's good to keep your resume brief, make sure you include enough information to convince your future employer to interview you.

Negative Cover Letters

If you need to include a cover letter, keep it upbeat! Instead of saying that you don't have a Ph.D. yet, mention you've earned your masters recently. Don't highlight your lack of expertise in a chosen field. Talk about how your old job gave you skills that will help you excel in this new industry.


You may not lie outright, but stretching the truth is just as bad. You may be tempted to give yourself a loftier title, or fudge the dates you were employed at a certain company. Don't allow any discrepancies. Just stick to the facts. If anything is amiss, that's an instant red flag!


Sure you want to stand out from the crowd -- but curly fonts and neon paper is the wrong way to do it. Your resume is like a window. The more cluttered it is, the harder it is to see you. Keep it plain, even "boring" if you will. Standard font on white paper, please.


Even a few small errors can undermine your success. Any employer looking at a resume will be turned off by mistakes. However, after having spent month on it to make it perfect -- you can still miss things. Have a few friends or family members go over it and look for mistakes.


Get specific! Employers love to see a resume that's been tailored to fit their job position. A generic, overly-simplified, or vague resume might make your potential employer think you've been mass-producing, and mass-submitting it all over. Whether you have or haven't doesn't matter. If they think you're sunk.


Keep your resume prioritized when listing your skills. Remember, first things first! Most relevant skills and experience should be listed before your other qualifications.

Resume Poison

5 Phrases that will Kill you!

Now that you've drafted an amazing resume, make sure you keep it that way. Here are five phrases that are sure to kill your resume...not to mention your chances of getting a job.

"I am the best candidate for the job."

At the resume stage, this is an inappropriate assumption. You have no idea how everyone else stacks up compared to you. Tell your employer that you are interested and believe you'll perform well. The rest of your resume should convince your employer you are the best.

"I have a proven track record of success."

Cliche, anyone? Seriously, this phrase will not do anything except make you look bad. Instead of saying you have had a lot of success, tell your employer what you succeeded at. Give examples!

"I left my job because of disagreements with management."

While you should never, ever, lie on a resume-the "I've had problems with management." phrase spells out trouble. Just say that the role became less of a fit over time, or simply that it was time to go.

"I am an out-of-the-box thinker."

Would someone who actually thought "out-of-the-box" ever say this? Of course not! If you really are a creative thinker you could say this a million different ways, or provide your employer with a great example of creative genius.

"My qualifications are evident."

If your employer really thinks that your qualifications shine through, he won't need this line. For those that might not think so, make sure you spell you qualifications out. Don't assume your employer will automatically recognize you as a perfect fit.

Selling Yourself

Don't sell yourself short in your resume. It's one thing to be a braggart, it's another to be confident.

Your References

Only the Best!

It's important to remember why you need references when you're picking them. They are going to need to be able to help convince your potential boss that you should get the job. So when selecting who you want to represent you-keep a few things in mind.

Choose Wisely

Select people who can talk about your skills and experience competently. Pick someone who's job directly relates to you-not just someone with an impressive title. Offer a mix of contacts. That way, they'll be able to share a lot of different aspects regarding your background.

Check with References

Always call your references first! Get their permission and see how eager they are to talk to your future employer. Be sure to give all your references a copy of your resume, the job description, and the name of the person who is most likely to call.

Make Contact

Give clear contact information for all of your references. Include Names, Titles, Phone Numbers, and Email Addresses. Offer a brief description of how you know the individual. You may want to consider providing a couple more references than requested, just in case your employer can't get a hold of one of them.


It's common for employers to seek out additional references. Today that's usually done online. So, remain on good terms with past supervisors and colleagues, and be selective about who is in your online network. (That includes sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

Be Thankful

Say, "Thanks" to everyone who agreed to be your contact, even if they are never contacted, or you don't get the job. Keep them updated and you keep searching for a job. Maybe after you secure your position you could offer to return the favor or get them a small gift.

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    • surfingtheweb profile image

      surfingtheweb 4 years ago

      This is a great lens with some very helpful tips.

    • wiseriverman profile image

      wiseriverman 4 years ago

      This is excellent advice.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      These are some great tips - especially the one about not bad-mouthing your former employer.