Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF is a follow-up about resumes. -- Heloise

"Dear Heloise: I saw a recent letter in your column about resume mistakes. I get resumes every day here in Human Resources, and I think about 90 percent of the ones we get are so poorly written, they're almost funny. But the seriousness of job hunting is NOT funny. There are thousands of people looking for work, so here are some suggestions to avoid common mistakes:

"Misspellings and misuse: Never misuse a word or misspell words on your resume. Example: 'There' for 'their' or 'to' for 'two.' Spellcheck is your new best friend.

"Lies: I can promise you, you'll get caught. Employers aren't gullible, and many now do a complete background and credit check. Didn't graduate from college? Don't say you did.

"Gaps in employment: Every employer wonders what you did if there are large gaps in employment. Did you use that time to acquire new skills or certification/training in your field? If so, add it to your resume.

"Limit your resume: Keep it short and to the point. One page is best, but NEVER more than two pages. Avoid slang and humor.

"DO NOT give out references (unless you're asked for them), list your hobbies or send a handwritten resume. If you want the job, a well-written resume is the first step to let your employer see your potential." -- Wade M. in New York

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Here are some handy uses for tall potato chip cans:


Store knitting needles in them.
Keep fireplace matches in them.
Store uncooked spaghetti inside.
Store beads, sequins or other small craft items in them.

-- Heloise

A ONE-DISH MEAL

Dear Heloise: My husband came up with this idea: Cook one box of macaroni and cheese. When done, stir in some lean chunks of ham. It makes a great one-dish meal. -- B.P., Middletown, Ohio

THE LAND OF LOST SOCKS

Dear Heloise: Whenever I wash my daughter's baby socks, they seem to get lost! Any hints on how to keep track of them? -- Ava J., Rosedale, Md.

Ava, those little items get lost so easily! Just take a safety pin and attach them to a larger item, such as a towel. They wash nicely and come through the dryer without getting lost. -- Heloise

CLOSET PROBLEM

Dear Heloise: Help! My closets have a musty smell. How can I get rid of it? -- Jerrie L., Raton, N.M

Jerrie, make sure your closets are well-ventilated by keeping the doors open at night or during the day while you're at work. Never put dirty or damp clothes in your closet, not even in a hamper. You also can try putting baking soda in a bowl or jar without a lid and placing it in a corner of your closet. -- Heloise