Executive Resumes & Career Transition Strategies Blog

Reflections of an Executive Resume Writer
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Fatal Mistakes NOT to Make on Your Executive Resume

Recently the top HR executive at Google stated something that should be a wake-up call for job seekers at all levels, from entry level to senior executive.

In a post this past autumn on LinkedIn, Laszlo Block, SVP, People Operations at Google states that he has seen a LOT of resumes, and that “some are brilliant, most are just OK, many are disasters.” He should know. In addition to sending out hundreds of resumes over his own career, he’s personally reviewed over 20,000 resumes. At Google, his department sometimes receives more than 50,000 resumes in a WEEK.

So it seems that his observations may be worth some attention as you prepare your executive resume. He observes that all it takes is just one small mistake for an otherwise qualified and interesting candidate to be rejected. What are the worst mistakes, in his view?

#1 on the list, front and center, is: TYPOS. Since a CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos, might yours be one of them?

Another biggie, which will be especially applicable to senior executive resumes, is revealing confidential information. Since your prospective employer would not want trade secrets revealed to competitors, why would they consider someone who has already done so to his previous employer?

And of course, another high profile mistake is lying. Actually, I would not consider this a “mistake” per se, since it wouldn’t be lying if it were not done on purpose. But the point is: Don’t lie or even fib (“little white lie”) about anything–your degrees, where you went to school, your length of employment, sales figures, etc. Morality issues aside, the parade of high profile executives, government officials, and academics who have been summarily fired for lies on their executive resumes should be a cautionary tale for anyone.

For all five deadly mistakes, see his entire article:
Biggest Mistakes on Executive Resumes

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