Thursday, September 22, 2011

Your resume makes an impression


Careerbuilder recently asked a question on Twitter about resume pet peeves.

Amy at Careerbuilder for Employers graciously read my post and then asked me about the use of “I” making me less happy than misspellings. I replied, but then thought that I really didn't answer her correctly. That made me think I should expand a little bit so others aren't left with questions. 

Let me elaborate. 

Here are the things I don’t like to see on your resume, although I will still call to get more information.

Here are the reasons these things bother me:  

1. You've been employed for more than 10 years, but you have only a one-page resume.
I can’t read your mind.
 I don’t know what sort of skills you have if you don’t tell me.
You might be difficult when I ask for a more detailed (longer) resume.

2. You've been at your current job for more than three years, but only have 3 bullet points.
Hiring managers have said, “This person has been on the job a long time, but doesn’t have much to say. Does he hate his job?”
Is that the impression you want to make?

3. You list the year of your college graduation (don't).
I don’t want to know how old you are.
If you are a recent graduate, I DO want to know.

4. You've been at your last four jobs for less than a year each and you aren't a consultant (even consultants stay in place longer than that typically).
I’m concerned that you don't play well with others.

5. You wrote your resume as you would a note to friend. Ex: "I" did this and that.
I am concerned that you will be difficult to work with. Also, are you arrogant?

6. You leave out relevant details. Ex: Computer programmers who don't list the languages they code.
Referring to #1, I cannot read your mind. I would like to know details. Hiring managers and HR folks can’t read minds, either. We’re looking for skill A or certification X: You think it’s a given because you’ve mastered skill B or achieved certification Y. We might not know that!


Here are the few things that will keep me from calling you:

1. Your resume is in reverse chronological order.
Honestly…I think you’re difficult. 

2. You have a common skill set and your resume is a mess.
Sorry, but I can find another resume with a common skill set and not have to battle with you over yours.

These are my recruiter confessions! I admit that my biggest pet peeve is when your resume makes you look difficult to work with. 

That's it in a nutshell. That's the basis upon which I make most of these decisions.


I'm happy to say that because I'm in a situation in which I reach out to people even when their resumes make me want to poke myself in the eye, I have found that most people are willing to add to their resumes or focus their resumes for me. 

Just remember, HR doesn't necessarily have the incentive to talk to as many people as a third-party recruiter does. 


If you have a question, Tweet it to @InterviewGeeks or leave it here. 

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That is probably the best interview advice I have have ever received!!! ~Neal C.

I wanted to talk to you again before this interview because you really geek interview tips. ~Chad T.

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