We are currently hiring for a position in my department at work. Our HR department has been funneling resumes to me and a few other folks who will help interview. Let me just say WOW there are a lot of people who suck at resume writing. I’m not a pro or anything, but come on, some of this stuff is just ridiculous. So after reading, laughing, and shaking my head, here is my list of “do not do this or your resume will suck” items. Enjoy.
1. Putting your picture on your resume.
No. NO. NOO! Unless you are applying for an acting or modeling job, I do not need to see your photo. My whole job is to NOT judge how you look. How can I be objective when I’m staring at your face before I even see your credentials? I can’t. I’m just not mature enough.
2. Listing out your hobbies.
While I appreciate that you like to knit, I really do not give a flying fuck. You are not applying for a knitting job or a job that requires you to read the Harry Potter series (although that would be the best job ever) so I don’t need to know that information. Resumes are long and super duper boring. Please save me the trouble of having to judge you on how you spend your free time….because I WILL.
3. Taking up half of the first page to list your Objective/Summary/Professional Profile.
What the hell is a professional profile anyway? Ugh. So boring. Don’t waste my time telling me that you are organized, professional, and detail oriented for like three paragraphs. Again, YOU ARE BORING ME. A simple one-sentence objective is fine. There is no need for more. And believe me, no one hunts for a job to improve and organize shit. We all work because we need MONEY. That is frankly my only objective and I know it’s yours too so don’t LIE.
4. Listing a job you only had for a month.
Everyone knows that jumping around doesn’t look good on a resume. Even if you had totally legitimate reasons for leaving a company. People shift around in the legal field all the time. But if you only spent a mere few weeks with a company, please leave it off your resume. Just include years and not months of your start/stop dates and no one will notice the gap in employment. You want to focus on the positive in an interview and any sort of anomalies like that will get brought up!
5. Sending your digital resume as anything BUT “resume – name”
Lots of us have various resumes. If you’re job hunting, you need to be flexible and be able to grab whatever type of resume you need for a certain job. But do not send a resume to a company that is named “legal focus resume” or “all areas resume” or “dallas resume.” This just sounds confusing. Like…does this person really want a legal job? Or are they really trying to change careers and have a totally different resume floating around somewhere else? Will they stay if we hire them? All silly questions, but as a person reviewing LOTS of resumes, those kinds of thoughts pop in your head and suddenly the candidate doesn’t shine as bright. Just save the resume with a simple name…and include your full name so it gets noticed in the digital “stack.”
6. Including your computer expertise.
Wow. You know how to use a computer? SWEET!!! People, it is the year two thousand and twelve. If you don’t know how to use a computer get the hell outta my face. If there is some super particular program used in a certain field, go ahead and work that into your experience. But listing out every Microsoft program you know is SO 2002.
So basically keep your resume simple. Clean and simple. I want to see your education background and your professional experience, i.e. where the hell you’ve worked. If you’re involved in various professional or community organizations, list those at the end. And yeah, that’s about it. Cover letters are optional, but I never read them. And references are good to add on a separate sheet. Remember keep it simple or you SUCK.