The little things which can send your resume to the trash can..
Silly email addresses like email@example.com, Joesuperchef@whatever.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If this is you address get a neutral Yahoo or Hotmail address for your job search.
Some employers delete any resume for a subordinate job which comes from an email address with “chef”, so an application for a pantry cook position from email@example.com would not be opened. These tend to be some of the more demanding restaurants. As a rule, the more prestigious the restaurant, the more modest you should be in your approach. If you have achieved the rank of chef or sous chef, this is not an issue.
Graphics. Pictures of food or chef toques on resumes are generally considered a sign of a naïve or unprofessional applicant.
Cute resumes. Do not reinvent the wheel by presenting your resume formatted as a menu or the front page of a newspaper. All the reader wants is to be able to read it quickly.
Unsolicited attachments beyond your resume: It’s generally better not to send copies of letters of recognition, reference, menus, reviews or other documents, especially as .jpg or .gif scans until they are requested. These take up disk space and cause the initial reader some inconvenience. Do, however, make it clear that these are available, if the recipient wishes to receive them.
Color in text or shaded or patterned table cells: Just don’t do it. It’s not cool.
In line HTML attachments: Just don’t do it. They can’t be copied to a usable format easily, they tend to annoy.
Inline or aasci resumes in an email: These are sometimes necessary, especially when there is no other way to transmit a copy, but an attachment requires less effort from the recipient. “Inline” means that the resume is directly in the body of the email and not opened separately.
Broadcast to multiple recipients: Never, but never broadcast your resume to multiple search firms or employers at the same time. It will be construed as arrogance and/or rudeness. Have the consideration to treat each person as an individual entity.
HTML tags, scripts, moving or flashing banners, moving applets, movies or any other java wizardry.
Wild, cute or eccentric fonts (letter types). Not all computers are outfitted with all fonts. Keep your letter forms to the basics, or the reader may see nothing but a series of little boxes. Note that serif fonts like Times New Roman tend to be easier to read than sans serif fonts like Ariel.
Everything in upper case. The convention of all capitals as a sign for shouting in email transmissions makes all capital resumes appear to be shouting at the reader. Nobody appreciates them. It is all right to put titles or the places you have worked in all upper case letters, but the rest should in mixed case.
PDF (Acrobat) format. This depends on the recipient. In general PDF files are more difficult to navigate and to annotate than other standard formats.
Unusual formats: If you use a unique word processing software, you should save your document in MS Word or RTF, since not all recipients will be able to open other programs. RTF (Rich Text File) can be opened by almost any program. You can change a Works file to RTF by clicking on >save as and choosing Rich Text File in the File Type box.
Special resume software. Resumes written by proprietary resume writing programs tend not to be readable by any standard programs. You can either cut and paste them into a standard program or you can use another program to write them.
A link to a resume on the Internet. I don’t know about other people who hire, but I find this the height of arrogance. “Please download my resume here,” or “You can view my resume here,” seems very persumptious to me.
Macros: This is above all a Microsoft Word problem. If you use the resume template be sure to save the copy as a Word document with the extension .doc rather than .dot. This is because macros can carry virus, which causes them to be deleted unread.
Incorrect names on cover letters: Be sure that you change the name(s) on your cover letter to reflect the recipient. Check for all mention of other locations in the body of the letter as well.
Silly spelling mistakes. Use a spell checker, but remember that it will not recognize technical terms and may change them incorrectly.
Wordiness: Describe your employment in straightforward terms to make it easy for the reader to see what you have done where. You are writing a telegraph, not an essay.
Excessive self praise: “I am the only candidate you need,” or “Look no further, I am the one,” will send your resume to the trash can.
Pictures with an initial submission. They take space and time to download. Offer to send them, unless the job requests them. Many employers do not like to have pictures of candidates on file, as they can be construed as a form of discrimination.