Top 10 Veteran Resume Mistakes

A woman sits with her head down during a job hunt. (Stock photo)

Get your resume ship-shape by avoiding the ten major mistakes listed below:

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10: Too much military jargon so a Human Resource (HR) professional cannot determine where you would best fit with the company.


Describe the skills that you gained in the military in a transferable manner, don't focus on one aspect of your position but the responsibilities and accomplishments as a whole, and which are not just specific to the military.

9: Including multiple phone numbers.


Include only your primary phone number and make sure you have an answering machine or voice mail on that number along with a courteous professional greeting.

8: Leaving off your e-mail address.


Always include your e-mail address, this is the second most popular way (after the telephone) the vast majority of employers and recruiters correspond.

7: Including a picture on the resume.


Leave off all pictures. In the United States this information could be considered discriminatory and should always be left off.

6: Adding personal information about yourself, for example: Married with 2 children ages 7 and 9.


Leave this off all together. You do not want to allow the hiring manager to make certain assumptions they are not allowed by law to make. The HR professional may feel that you will not travel, etc. because of your family.

5: Including any information that specifically would lead a reasonable person to know from a resume the applicant's race, color or religious affiliation.


Leave off all information of any group or award that specifically reveals your race, color or religious background. Knowing this background is a "hot potato" for an employer, and will cause them to immediately eliminate the resume from consideration.

4: Three, four, five or longer page resumes.


The longest any resume should be is two pages. Remember a resume is to tell a brief career history, the emphasis on brief. Many people feel they will "look better" to an employer having a longer resume. The reality is the reverse is true. A Curriculum Vitae that is used in countries outside the United States and Canada should be longer, but not a resume.

3: Using the word "I" anywhere in the resume.


A resume is written in third person.

2: Using elaborate or non-standard fonts.


Use a very standard font, the closer to one that is used in a book the better. Both people and Optical Character Readers (OCR) can read the standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Courier. Remember the purpose of sending a resume to an employer is to have it read.

1: Having a resume that does not match the person.


People are brought in for interviews based on their resumes, if the person during the interview does not match the resume then the company feels they have been misled. If you feel like you're not accurately representing yourself, you should consider having a professionally created resume.

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

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