The Seven Deadly Sins of Resume Writing

Finding your next career after military retirement

Your resume can work for you or against you. If your resume is well written then you are guaranteed a job interview. If your resume is poorly written then you'll never make it in the front door. And, including items such as an inappropriate e-mail address or salary history on your resume can be instant deal breakers.

If you're unsure of what to exclude from your resume, here's a list of seven items that should never appear on your resume:

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  1. Social Security Number - It's wise to leave your social security number off of your resume for security reasons. Only provide this information after an interview.
  2. Possessive nouns or writing in the first person - When describing your job duties, leave out "I," "me," or "mine." Use action words such as "coordinated" or "developed."
  3. Your cutesy e-mail addresses - An inappropriate e-mail address, such as, will not win you any points with employers. Consider changing a cutesy e-mail address to something a little more professional such as
  4. A picture of yourself - A picture of yourself has no place on a resume (no matter how good looking you think you are.) Pictures will not help your chances of getting an interview or employment. Just rely on your skills and expertise - not your looks.
  5. Salary information - This is confidential information and should not appear in a resume. The appropriate time to include this information is during the interview or when employers request it. Some employers would accept salary information on a resume in the past, but now it's only necessary when requested.
  6. Phrases or words in all caps - When you use all caps in your resume, it gives the impression that you're yelling at the reader. Let your accomplishments stand for themselves. Don't use special fonts or unnecessary capitalization to get your point across.
  7. Reasons why you left your previous employer - Using an ending date is acceptable. However, including the reason why you left is not. Don't go into any details about how you left on bad terms. Any negative information will undermine the positive, upbeat nature of the resume.

Your resume is your best weapon when looking for job. In addition to avoiding these seven resume pitfalls, remember to make your resume concise and clear. For more resume writing advice visit's Veteran Jobs Channel.

Related: For the latest veteran jobs postings around the country, visit the Job Search section.

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