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Resume Tips

How not to Craft a Cringe-Worthy Resume!

resume that makes cringe

It is a well known fact that to enable you to get the right job you need to get your resume right. Your resume is your first point of contact with a potential new employer. It is your key to opening the door to a new employment opportunity or your perfect dream job. Let’s face it – you don’t want to mess this up!

There are many reasons recruitment officers and employers reject a candidate based on their resume. The most obvious ones being bad grammar or text that is full of typos. These sort of things that are completely avoidable if you only took a little more care and attention to check.

However, simple spelling mistakes and grammatical errors aside, there are other elements that are often included in resumes that can really make your potential new employer cringe! What we are talking about here is adding in clip art, glaringly bad and distracting borders, and even confusing quotes that are supposed to be inspirational but can often leaving the reader scratching their head in puzzlement. Let’s just say – step away from the clip art, there is no need for it here!

Choosing the right resume template

To make the process of job searching easier you can download and edit professionally designed resume templates that are known to be high-performing choices for successful job candidates. For example you can take a look at our own selection of free resume templates. Any one of these will be the perfect starting point in crafting your personal resume. Just remember to refrain from adding any extra embellishments – and certainly no clip art!

free resume templates fro Microsoft Word

Proofread, Proofread, and Proofread again

You may have earned you professional qualifications but this doesn’t mean that they will automatically get you the job that you want. When setting out your draft template and filling in your information for the first time, make sure you pay attention to the finer details. For example, you may have graduated with a BSc in Computer Science, but the last thing you want to do is to enter this on your resume as ‘bachelorette degree in computers’. Can you see the recruiter cringing at that? I certainly can.

Again, it pays to pay close attention to grammar and spelling, especially when you are trying to sell yourself in your profile section. Here you will be trying to convey an element of your personality so being honest is great because it lets your potential new employer see how well you would fit in within the company work environment.


However, there is a difference about being honest with your reader and being brutally honest! One business owner listed some of his most cringe-worthy resume comments on Reddit.com. His favourites for being too honest were:

Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel
It’s best for employers that I not work with people.

He also mentioned how often he spotted errors on resumes that would have been picked up by the candidate had they taken the time to proofread properly. Here are some more examples he posted:

Please let me know if I can omit you in any way
Ecellent typist, great sppeed and accuracy. 756 wpm.
I am very detail-oreinted.

How anyone could fail to miss these simple errors on their first proofread is amazing. If anything it just goes to prove to the recruitment officer reading these resumes that these people do not care about the quality of their work. The result? Rejection.

Add Appropriate References

Most people know that they will need to add some professional references that the company can draw on should you get past your first interview. Most will include a present or past employer that they are on good terms with. They will be sure to provide a good and relevant reference to the prospective new employer on request.

References are a great way for new employers to check on your background and find out if you were honest, reliable, productive and trustworthy in your last role. Trust is a big issue with employers and they need to know that they will be hiring an honest worker.

Another business owner reported a memorable resume that had this little gem included in the references section: “I am well trust worthy, you can ask one of my mates!!!!!!!”  (Another one for the reject pile).

Keep it simple

Remember that when a recruitment officer is skimming over your resume for the first time, he is quickly looking to establish that you have the key elements they are looking for to fill the position. Most busy recruiters will spend about 10 seconds on a first skim of your resume. If it contains information that catches their eye then they may go on to spend one or two minutes giving it a good read through.

Never try to impress your reader by overloading them with information. OK you may be a perfect fit for the job you are applying for, but submitting a 19 page resume will certainly never make it past the automated scanning robot let alone get to be seen by a pair of human eyes! All this will achieve will be you left wondering why your application was not successful.

Make good use of the free resources you have at hand. Practice with Freesumes resume templates until you have crafted your perfect professional looking resume.

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