Rant about Resumes

Holy cow! Do I see some bad resumes. Smart people, with great experience, but horrible resumes. Here are a couple of my pet peeves:

– An objective that makes no sense. “A position with a fast-growing company that will allow me to utilize my skills and talents.” Whoa Nelly. If I’m looking at 10 resumes per day (recruiters are looking at many, many more) do you know how frustrating it is not to have a summary at the top of the resume that helps me to put the rest of your experience in context? Makes me not want to read the rest of it, honestly.

– Cutesy job title: Subway calls their sandwich makers, “Sandwich artists”. How do I know this? I’ve seen it on a resume. In the 1990s these sorts of titles were all the rage. A more conventional title will actually help your cause, not hurt it.

– Functional resume. All I want to do is go to the bottom of the resume to see where they’ve worked. I can’t help it. It annoys me to have to try and figure out what you did at each of your jobs. If I have to work too hard at reading a resume… well, you know.

– Not explaining what a company does or what your job entailed, just through a one or two sentence summary. I don’t know every company out there, so if you help me by providing me with a bit of information, I’ll have a much easier time putting your experience into context. This is particularly true if your experience isn’t at companies that have instant name recognition. But, there are lots of smaller, niche companies out there that dominant their industry or segment. How would I know this unless you tell me?

Personal information: Everything from a non-professional email address, to a hobbies or interest section. I can’t trust myself not to use this information against you… Be very, very, very careful.