I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I planned to the last few weeks. My goal was three a week, and all I’ve managed is a solitary one. Please forgive me internet!!
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I will tell you why I want to pull my hair out. I spent a few hours each week reformatting resumes. I may not be the best resume writer in the world, but I’ll go as far to say, I’m pretty darn good at constructing, editing, and guiding people through the resume writing process.
I’ve seen and helped people with lots of resumes. Sometimes the errors are just results of staring too long at your own resume. You become immune to seeing the grammatical errors, or minor things that don’t make sense. Quick and easy to fix.
And then there’s the resumes that give an obvious air of “I put about 2 minute of effort into this”. These resumes make me want to give no effort into making them better. They remind me of the Ladies Man resume, which was written on loose leaf paper and under interests included “dabutt”. They’ll have the person’s name, a phone number, an email, and then anywhere from 1 line to just a few paragraphs basically saying “I’m a living person. This is my qualification.” I have no idea what kind of job they want. It’s impossible to determine, because they apparently haven’t done anything remotely related to working for their entire life. They were born, so they wrote their name on a piece of paper and handed it to me. “I’d like one job please!” in the air of someone ordered coffee. If they do include their work experience, it’s usually one line that doesn’t explain anything. “At one point, I was in the army, but I don’t know how long, or what I did. I entered the army recruiting center, and then I stood there for an indefinite amount of time.”
When I actually talk to them, I’m often shocked that they sound perfectly normal on the phone. Every time, they actually have had job experience, but they failed to include it, or they failed to tell me what they did. I can usually prod these types of people into providing more information quite easily. I think it’s a form of writer’s block – they just literally do not know what to write.
Another variation is the crazy formatter. Today, which is what prompted this post, I actually got a resume written in word pad. It was a long single horizontal row. I don’t even know how that is possible. What kind of person writes out a single row of information that has to be scrolled through horizontally?! I imagine this person is really into ancient Egypt or something, and decided he wanted his resume to be a tribute to the papyrus scrolls from the good ol’ days.
Another form of the crazy formatter is the person who decides they want to look all trendy. I have to tell you, we are on to you. Usually it’s repetitive information aka “fluff”. Plus we don’t want to have to scour through resumes, seeking information like a treasure hunt. Thank goodness I have only seen one that was bad enough to send back. It also had a picture on it. Don’t include your picture. It’s weird, unless you’re applying for a modeling job.
Another kind of resume that annoys me: Someone who has clearly been working for 5, 10 or more years, and their resume is riddled with personal commentary, copy and paste of the same job (one occasion, three times!), or completely informal. You aren’t texting your friend, you’re trying to get a job. Hiring managers are not the same as project manager, so when you say that your responsibilities are the same as any DIRECTOR OF OBSCURE FIELD, they have no cue what one of those does. Plus when someone like me is trying to make your resume look better, I don’t have any idea what they do either, but I’m not going to keep in that obnoxious line comment, so I suppose we are at an impasse. I just don’t get how these people have been working for so long and gotten by without editing their resume.
I have a whole other thing about people including way too much information, and including items that they consider qualifications, which clearly are not. It’s not a qualification to have played tennis, unless you are applying for a tennis job. I had a resume of someone applying for a specialized technical skill job, and they had their college team as the top billed item on their resume. I’m not sure how tennis will help resolve steel beam loads, but I guess that’s why I’m not the engineer. Good news about these types though – delete is easy.
I’m not an expert on resumes by any mean. But these are just a few things I’ve noticed. I actually enjoy editing resumes, except for the case of Egyptian scroll resume, which will need to be reformatted, and rewrote, because he also wrote it like he as texting to his friend. The really great part is the lack of punctuation, which means I have to guess where one qualification ends, and the next begins! Fun!