Career Tips

13 ways your resume can say ‘I’m unprofessional’

  • Jun 7, 2014
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13 ways your resume can say ‘I’m unprofessional’

Lisa Vaas

 

Hiring pros share the faux-pas they find in real resumes, including wacky e-mail addresses, defunct phone numbers and cookie-cutter templates.

No offense, thebigcheese@domain.com, but if nobody has told you yet, we’re telling you now: That e-mail address is not making you look particularly professional.

Unprofessional e-mail addresses are just one way of sending hiring managers the wrong message. If you want to be taken seriously when you apply for jobs, you need to put some polish on your resume, your cover letter and everything contained therein. Hiring professionals repeatedly run across these red flags that scream “unprofessional.” A number of recruiters and HR managers shared with TheLadders common errors from their own professional experiences.

1. Random/cute/shared e-mail accounts

E-mail accounts are free. There’s no reason not to sign up for your own. Yet many mid-career professionals share an e-mail account with a significant other or the entire family, generating addresses such as dickandjane@domain.com or thesmiths@domain.com..

Also stay away from cutesy addresses.

After all, butterfliesaremyfriend2010@domain.com, you can always share your admiration of Lepidoptera with colleagues after you’ve been hired.

Ditto for offensive, flirtatious or sexual e-mail addresses.

Think we’re exaggerating? These are actual e-mail accounts cited by Jillian Zavitz, who’s responsible for hiring as the programs manager for TalktoCanada.com, an online English language-training course based in Canada. (We’ve changed the domain names to protect the innocent.)

Instead, adopt an address that incorporates the name you use professionally on your resume and cover letter.

 

7. Everything but the kitchen sink

“I don’t care, nor have time, to read about your life story,” Zavitz said. “If you can’t whittle your resume down to a page or two at max, I will not read it. If it’s not related [to the job or your work history], don’t include it.”

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