by Allen J. Sheinman | June 24, 2011
The list


Like with most other industries these days, it's not so easy for meeting professionals to find a job -- and nearly impossible if you make some of the common résumé mistakes outlined below.

1. Displaying blatant misspellings and bad grammar.
Nothing shouts "Beware of me" more than a résumé riddled with misspelled words and bad phrasing -- unless, of course, you're responding to a want-ad for rap artist.
2. Using annoyingly quaint touches. Many employment experts agree that beginning your résumé with a "Career Objective" blurb is a bad idea that will lead to hopelessly mawkish and often incomprehensible pronouncements such as, "I want to use my skills to promote a genuine enhancement of the human condition" that are better left to beauty-pageant contestants. Similarly, ending your submission with "References upon request" is about as helpful as ending your last will and testament with "Inheritance upon death." Either list your references at the get-go or assume they will be called for if someone wants to see them.
3. Being too truthful. No need to end that description of a past job with "and while I was fired over charges of having embezzled registration fees, it was never proven."
4. Stretching the truth. Ditto for "I planned the meeting that, in a sense, eventually resulted in the fall of the Berlin wall."
5. Shouting your age. It won't help to list every job you've ever held over the years, especially if your earliest is "Planned the conference that drafted the Edict of Nantes."
6. Being too vague. As in, "I planned all sorts of events for every kind of company."
7. Being too detailed. As in, "I oversaw the placement of knives, forks (both for appetizers and main courses), tablespoons and teaspoons on nine-foot-long tables (a few were, it must be admitted, only eight-and-a-half-feet long) in banquet halls (though some were labeled 'ballrooms')..."
8. Focusing on duties and not accomplishments. "I oversaw the registration process for a new annual convention that hoped to attract 100,000 attendees." Okay, so....DID IT??
9. Using repetitive and redundant language. "I organized the breaks. I organized the gift bags and the gifts themselves. I also organized the post-con follow-up survey, in which we polled ex-attendees who were back home after the event had ended..."
10. Not gearing your résumé to the job in question. If you're applying to run the meetings department for the ASPCA, you probably should omit that summer job as shears-keeper at the mink farm.

Sources: Forbes Magazine,,, Fins Finance, Meetings & Conventions