After executive headhunter Steve Viscusi appeared on Good Morning America recently, he reviewed thousands of résumés from job seekers looking for advice.
Viscusi, host of the nationally syndicated radio show On the Job With Steve Viscusi and author of On the Job: How to Make It in the Real World of Work (Crown: Three Rivers Press), came up with these tips to help job hunters avoid common mistakes on their résumés.
1. Have a "normal" e-mail name, NOT firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
2. Unless you're Sarah Jessica Parker or Lara Flynn Boyle, why have your middle name on a résumé? Middle names are just an unnecessary distraction. The exception to this rule are women who are have hyphenated their maiden and married names.
3. Have more than one résumé. Change objectives and skills to reflect qualifications that are used in the job you are applying for. (This is my most important tip!!)
4. Use a font size that can be read by someone over the age of 40. Remember: faxed résumés shrink. 5. White paper only. Nothing fancy. 6. I advise that you mail, in addition to e-mail, your résumé, and always bring several extra copies when going in person.
7. Rarely leave anything off your résumé. Companies generally will check backgrounds (only after you start). Your résumé should match what they will find out.
8. I hate pictures on résumé. 9. Never mail résumés in your boss's envelopes or using your boss's e-mail.
10. Have someone else proof your résumé — don't rely solely on a computer's spell-check program. 11. Do not include the actual names and telephone numbers of references on a résumé. They are distracting and do nothing but take up space. Including "References available upon request" at the bottom of your résumé is more than enough. 12. When looking for a job, you need to send out a minimum of 100 résumés. Yes, 100. Send half of those to companies not looking. Just like every company that has an employee that hates their boss, every boss has an employee they'd love to get rid of. Send résumés to places you want to work regardless of whether or not you heard of an opening. 13. Always visit the company's Web site. 14. Always send a follow-up letter. 15. If you have a cell phone, add it to the résumé so that a prospective employer can reach you easily and quickly, 24/7. 16. Don't forget: Appearances count! a. Whiten your teeth. Buy the whitening strips or go to a dentist. b. Do not wear cologne or perfume. c. Don't wear too much jewelry. d. Turn off cell phones and pagers.