3 Resume Trends Stinking Up Your Job Search

resume mistakes

Doesn’t matter how pretty the pen.

Over half of recent college graduates don’t have full-time jobs. I know why.

Excellent penmanship.

Those words appeared on one of a hundred resumes I just reviewed while helping a startup client fill an open position. Excellent penmanship.

It was not the resume of a shorthand-proficient grandmother trying to get back into the workforce.

It was the resume of a recent college graduate. A college graduate with impressive accomplishments, buried lower on his resume.

A college graduate who will never get a full-time job.

Neither will most of the one hundred applicants I just reviewed. Turns out there’s a lot of excellent penmanship on resumes today. This is not because these Millennials don’t have great backgrounds and pertinent experiences.

It’s because someone is giving college students very bad advice about what should, and shouldn’t, go in their resumes.

And it’s costing them jobs.

resume mistakes that can kill your chance of getting the job

Dude, it’s tiny. Pipe down.

Career Killing Resume Advice #1 – Trophies and Accolades

Almost half of the resumes I received began with a list of every achievement, every accolade, and every proud moment in the job seeker’s life.

All listed before any actual, relevant, work-related qualifications.

   “Doubles tennis champion 2011
   “Graduated in only four years” (Yup, that’s real.)
   “Dean’s List
   “Excellent penmanship

You have excellent penmanship? Really? And tell me about your sewing skills.

I don’t know if this is a result of growing up in a time of participation trophies, or if it’s an attempt to make a resume look more human. But in journalism it’s called burying the lead.

You don’t lead a story about the Elvis Presley officiating a ribbon cutting ceremony at the 7-Elevent with details about it being held after lunch on the southwest corner of the building.

The lead is that the King of Rock and Roll is alive and well and enjoying a Slurpee.

The lead in any job search is what qualifies you for this job. Not whether you’ve got a good backhand at the net.

Here’s an example. One resume I received led with these sections:

  • Profile: paragraph long
  • Education: including details as specific as foreign-language coursework
  • In/OutSchool Activities: another 10 lines of information
  • Skill: leading with “Microsoft Office proficiency” (Which BTW, should be a given, not a special mention. Yikes)

All of that information (which took up ¾ of a page), was then, finally, followed by work experience.

Here’s the problem; this candidate may have been the most qualified person for the job. They may have had the actual, relevant work experience I was looking for.

But I wouldn’t know that because I fell asleep somewhere around “Spanish Culture Courses.”

I don’t know who is promoting this look-at-all-my-trophies trend, but I’m guessing it’s someone’s mother. And she needs to stop it. Now.

If your resume gets read at all, it will only be read at a glance. Don’t fill that glance with information about your college dance troupe.

Yes, that’s an actual example. I swear.

A candidate actually included details about her college dance troupe before listing anything that remotely related to the position she was applying for.

Holy blue tights, Batman. Is that really relevant?

 

resume trends

Huh?

Career Killing Resume Advice #2: Writer’s Blocks

Whoever decided to kill the bullets on resumes should be shot with one. Another mind-numbingly annoying, and wholly ineffective resume trend is stream of consciousness summaries.

Instead of highlighting pertinent information, job seekers have started writing one long paragraph of copy. These big blocks of text look like a journaling exercise. You know, where you write in one continuous stream until the time is up.

Only these disjointed, excruciatingly dull, blocks of copy are still written in resume speak.

One job summary I read was 173 words long. Yes, I counted the words.

I counted the words because it was less painful than reading a 173-word long paragraph of resume speak. Poking both eyes out with my own big toe would be less painful.

A couple hundred words of copy could be considered a short blog post. But most bloggers would be smart enough to break those words up into little chunks of text to make it easier to digest.

Even then, it better be damned enticing copy or no one will read it.

Resume speak—sentences usually seen in easy to skim bullets—is not damned enticing copy. Resume speak is damned boring copy.

Example:

…customized implementation process. Additional functions include, customer performance tracking, industry analysis, assigned projects. Handle customer questions while providing customer with a clear understanding of both technical and functional aspects of the system. …”

Admit it. You couldn’t even get through those two sentences, right? Thirty-two words, and you couldn’t do it. Now imagine them in the middle of a 200-word chunk of text.

One candidate listed all past work experience in paragraph form. One job after the other, all typed out in one, impossible to read, paragraph.

Are you kidding me?

The great writers of history could not make job functions, or employment history, compelling reading. So stop laying it out like the great American novel.

No one is reading that copy. No one.

If your resume can’t be scanned so that the person hiring can find the applicable information, it won’t be scanned at all.

And here’s a hint, the person hiring wants to find the applicable information.

They want to hire someone.

They want that person to be you so that they don’t have to read another soul-crushingly boring resume.

So do them a favor and highlight the pertinent info. Don’t hide it, Where’s Waldo style, in the middle of a paragraph of text.

 

college graduate resumes

See, you’re not the only one.

Career Killing Resume Advice #3: School, School, School

Yeah, we get it. You’ve got a diploma. Like practically every other person who applied for this job.

But unless you did something unique while you were at school, unless you started a business, or interned as Zuckerberg’s number two, details about your education belong at the end of your resume.

Yes, school and the honors you received while there are impressive. Congrats, your parents must be proud. But this information only belongs at the top of your resume if you’ve got absolutely nothing else to talk about.

And if you’ve got absolutely nothing else to talk about, you’re not going to get the job.

If you’ve got nothing else to talk about, stop right now and go get an internship. Go volunteer with a company if you have to. Just keep showing up until you’ve got some accomplishment to put on your resume that doesn’t involve a GPA.

And while you’re at it, take your GPA off your resume. No one cares.

One of the candidates I reviewed for my client’s company led his resume with:

Dean’s List, Magna Cum Laude Honors, Golden Key International Honor Society, Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society

Impressive. Unfortunately, all I see is that this person is very, very good in structured environments, with standardized systems for measuring his performance.

And that makes him proud.

And that makes me confident that he won’t be a good fit for my startup client.

Hey, I could be wrong. But there’s nothing about the way he approached this job opening or his resume that tells me otherwise.

And that’s all I’m looking for in any of these resumes. Something that tells me why I should hire you.

I want to hire you. I really, really do. Please, just show me why I should.

I would hire the first person that led their resume by simply saying:

I would rock this job for these three reason: I perfected my ability to [something relevant to the job] while working at [a company]. I absolutely loved doing [another relevant thing] and did it so well that [measurable result]. I already have a list of ideas about how we could do [something super cool and clever] with your brand to make it the [rock the world].

Done. Hired.

You want to be unique and standout when you contact a company? Try putting that at the top of your resume.

But don’t try any of these other silly new formatting trends being tossed around. They won’t get you the job.

Neither will good penmanship.

About the author: Kathy Ver Eecke works with startups in the early stages, where the good stuff happens. Download a free copy of her ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Getting Any Startup Job, if you’re trying to break into a startup or if you’re hiring employees for your startup.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

66 Comments

  • Sam Smith

    Reply Reply May 24, 2012

    We were taught in school that adding these details let the employer see our personality – which was supposed to be a good thing.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 24, 2012

      Sam -
      Personality IS a good thing. But it’s not a date. Win me over with a few qualifications for the job, THEN show me you’re a good cultural fit for the company.

      When you’ve got a gazillion resumes to get through, you narrow them down very quickly to the people who have something to offer. If you miss that first cut, it doesn’t matter how fun you are.

  • I think the best things that applicants should showcase are the qualifications that suits the job (of course those you possess). Exceptional skills that fits the job the employer is looking for is the key in getting hired.

    Mark Sanders
    Webmasters@Tie Wraps

  • Great post Kathy. Show them what you can do for them, not what your ego has done for you.

    Even as a blogger when I look at someones about page. I look for there experience in life not all there education. Yes, education is very important and a must. But at the same time maybe you sat in a class for hours,did the work needed, but never really learned anything. Just have a degree, etc.

    No right where you are coming from, show me what you can do for me and add to my company.

    Blessings to you Kathy and nice to have you aboard.

    Debbie

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 24, 2012

      Everything about your response tells me you’re an entrepreneur, in particular “show me what you can do for me and add to my company.” That’s really it in a nutshell. For the client I’m working with now, I would hire someone with a music degree if they would just show me how they can help my client.

      Thanks for the comment Debbie.

  • Beat Schindler

    Reply Reply May 24, 2012

    I see this way also, enthusiasm and focus on the benefits to the employer once they hire you, gets the job done, meaning gets you the job. At the same time I don’t think anyone who’s gotten (has) a job, let alone a great job, credits his/her resume for doing the trick. It’s maybe where some got it mixed up. The resume is for getting you an interview. The interview is for getting you a job. That’s why personality works best during the interview cycle, not so much in the resume.
    ~Beat

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 24, 2012

      OMG – Beat, you are 100% right. Really, when it comes to getting a job with a startup I think resumes are as useful as a sixth toe. The resume alone will never, ever get you the job. Sometimes however they are a necessary evil, as is the case with the client I’m helping now. That said, of the 100 resumes I’ve reviewed, you know how many the founder has reviewed? Three. And that’s after I narrowed the group down to six. Still, he could only bring himself to look at three. Resumes and startups do not mix.

  • Amy

    Reply Reply May 24, 2012

    Wow! Great and funny post. Thank you so much for the pertinent information. It’s been so long since I wrote a resume. I’ll definately take your advice!

  • Kathy

    When working in the corporate world one of my responsibilities was taking on new graduates – so you can image the different type of resumes I saw!

    But it is just as important for college leavers to have a convincing resume, as someone who is 30 years old with 10 years work experience.

    One of the things I did learn (from the good resumes) was if the student linked their individual success to working skills.

    For instance, one student sold things on eBay and had a 100% positive feedback record. This showed the student had excellent customer service experience, they are reliable and trustworthy. All excellent traits that employers are looking for.

    Andrew

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 29, 2012

      Andrew – The ebay example is exactly the type of things most startups would view at pertinent, useful information. They would also find details about growing a paper route interesting and entrepreneurial and useful. A smart candidat would Tweet the founder about something like that to get his/her attention, then follow with an emailed resume.

      Great tip Andrew. thanks!

  • This is a n informative read for those who appear in their best suits, carry their academic credentials without any experience at all. You’re absolutely right. It’s experience or internship that matters these days and not the usual school accomplishments that you had. It’s reality. Application is indeed better than all theory.

    • Alfredo

      Reply Reply June 27, 2012

      Read the job description thoohugrly. Make a list of the qualities they ask for such as team player (yuk!) or confidentiality or whatever their “buz” words are.Prepare your answers to common questions like:What is your best quality or your worst??What would your co-workers say about you?What problem did you have with a coworker and how did you resolve it?How do you prefer your supervisor to communicate with you?You can find these common questions on the internet somewhere. Type out examples of things you have done or happened.Then incorporate these “buz” words from the job description into these answers, i.e., “I am a great team player” and helped a coworker with this problem .Use their words and match their job description.

  • Kathy,

    This article really hits home for me. Working in the medical profession in a busy clinic, we often take on college graduates who want to pursue a profession in medicine. I view the new hires as to whether they “get it or not”. A resume can be impressive, but the skills needed to work in our environment are clearly translated through their work or internship experience rather than GPA. A brilliant person does not necessarily make a good doctor, PA or nurse!

    Anne

  • OMG laugh out loud funny. I haven’t had a resume in 20 years or more and it’s a good thing. I can’t write like you. that’s also why I do radio. not writing. and did you know I also grow vegetables in my spare time and hike our local trails and once when I was little I went to the state fair and danced and …. oh I digress. Lesson not learned.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 25, 2012

      OMG laugh out loud funny, right back at ya. But Michelle, how’s your penmanship?

      • Michelle Vandepas

        Reply Reply June 22, 2012

        penmanship? It sucks. I’m bored and in a hurry… hot hot hot. here. H words.. I digress again.

  • Very interesting, I haven’t written my own resume for years but I read a lot n a previous job, but they weren’t nearly as exciting as yours. I guess it’s a matter of advice, at one workshop I was told mine was too short and I should add in more detail. Personally I thought one page broken up into bullet points was enough, but clearly not for that person. One man’s poison is another man’s nectar I guess!

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 30, 2012

      I’ll tell ya, your resume sounds spectacular to me. Short, bulleted, if it’s full of useful info, I’d drink that poison.

  • Amy LeForge

    Reply Reply May 25, 2012

    “Whoever decided to kill the bullets on resumes should be shot with one”. LOL. Excellent post, Kathy. I haven’t done a resume in eons (and hope not to need one) but I’m sure I’ll be helping boys someday so this is darn useful information.

  • Kathy

    Reply Reply May 29, 2012

    YES, YES, YES! Kathy I agree with everything you said. I look at a LOT of resumes, most from people who have a lot of experience. They still don’t strip it down to the things that matter.

    Start with the top, you don’t need your street address, your email and phone number are enough. If you are putting Resume at the top, then the document isn’t clear enough to indicate what the heck it is. Do check your spelling and don’t use text speak.

    Think about that paragraph at the top. 3-4 sentences, boiled down to something that makes you stand out as the most relevant applicant for the job. In this electronic age, you can change that paragraph for every application you send.

    Don’t forget the cover letter (your email), It’s great if it’s warm, personable and about them. Tell them why you want to work there. There is nothing more flattering than someone who’s interested in you.

    There are jobs out there, you just need the right bait for your hook.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply May 30, 2012

      Clearly said by someone who knows resumes. Great tips Kathy, thanks for sharing. And yes, don’t forget the cover letter. I think you can get the job with the cover letter alone.

  • Bruce

    Reply Reply May 29, 2012

    I am hiring people now and it is numbing how all these resumes look alike. They don’t help me much and I have devised a test that a candidate has to take before I will even look at the resume. If you can pass the test, I will see what you did to be able to do so. Don’t pass, I don’t look at anything more.

  • Corinne Edwards

    Reply Reply May 30, 2012

    Dear Kathy -

    I think resumes are outdateds and a good cover letter is more interesting. Tell them how you love their idea and how you can benefit the company – not what you have done in the past but how you can use it for them would be more effective.

    I remember interviewing a woman I had in one of my sales classes. She was so smart.

    I liked her. But when she came in for the interview she was so nervous.

    At one point, almost in tears, she said -

    “I want this job so bad and I know I am screwing up this inteview.”

    She started work the following Monday.

  • harley

    Reply Reply May 31, 2012

    Actually that’s true long resume with decorated with “trophies” is not really a good idea. People will read them will fall asleep. Its should concise yet eye-catchy

  • Shay F

    Reply Reply May 31, 2012

    I read a lot of resumes because I place volunteers at a non-profit. I have not encountered “good penmanship” qualifications yet, but I have seen a large mixture of resumes that break the three rules given above. One of things that bugs me the most is when the formatting is sloppy. This is probably a personal preference, but if there are extra spaces, mismatch headings/subheadings, and poor bullet/page alignment, then I assume the individual was being lazy. I also don’t know why more people don’t tell you to pdf your resume–then the formatting isn’t editable and will always look the same no matter what version of word it is opened in.

    I also recently graduated from undergrad and will wholeheartedly admit that my school “career” advisers were not very helpful. Most of my best resume advice came from internship supervisors, coworkers, and professors (who were currently also full time professionals).

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply June 1, 2012

      PDFs are a great suggestion. Formatting can be thrown off from computer to computer – and it wrecks the whole impression. I’m with you, visually the wonky spaces etc. just make the whole thing look sloppy and you blame the person’s lack of attention to detail.

  • Ellie

    Reply Reply June 1, 2012

    By your condescending attitude I would think you would have taken the time to proofread your own article. “You’re parents would be proud.” Obviously excellent grammar is not on your resume.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply June 1, 2012

      Ouch. No condescension intended.

      Everyone makes mistakes, and a grammar or spelling mistake would be overlooked in a resume that was loaded with all the right other stuff. I’d forgive a lot more than simple spelling errors for the right other stuff.

      You’ve got a good eye for detail. I’m sure you’ll do fine.

      • Courtney

        Reply Reply August 12, 2013

        I know this is late but I just came across this article and I’d have to agree with Ellie. I recently attended a resume class that turned my perfectly bulletted (is that a word?)resume into boring paragraphs. I too thought this was a no-no until it was explained that the majority of companies nowadays require your resume to be submitted online. And you no longer can get away with one resume for all companies. Nowadays, a computer scores your resume based on key words that match the company’s job posting and only the top few ever actually get read by a human. The more words, the better the odds. In order to be seen, your resume needs to kiss a computer’s ass, not the boss’s. And now that a computer does the first cut and not a human, a grammatical error will be picked up quickly and and your resume will be tossed out, regardless of how impressive your credentials are.

        • Kathy Ver Eecke

          Reply Reply August 13, 2013

          Hi Courtney – really great point! And you’re right; these programs are being used by big companies and by HR recruiting companies. So it’s a good thing to be aware of.

          However, I can almost guarantee that if you’re sending your resume to a startup….they won’t be using these programs, and they absolutely, positively won’t have anything to do with an HR company. So bottom line, if you’re applying at The Coca-Cola Company you may want to give the paragraph approach a try. But if you’re hitting up a startup, stick with a scan-able resume or it will never get read.

          Thanks for pointing this out though, it does shed a lot of light on this new trend.
          Kathy

  • Seth

    Reply Reply June 2, 2012

    Kathy,

    This is a well-written and fun article. :)

    In the second paragraph above the graduation picture, did you mean “soul-crushingly” rather than “sole-crushingly”? ;)

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply June 2, 2012

      Trying to work out a joke about walking a mile in their shoes…can’t make it work. So I’ll fess up; yes, it’s a typo. Thanks for catching it! :)

      • Seth

        Reply Reply June 3, 2012

        Kathy,

        That might have worked! We’ll pretend that you did. Well-played!

  • Zaida Yap

    Reply Reply June 7, 2012

    Very good article. Have fun reading it entirely, very good helpful informations. Though people got a lot of corrections with your grammar, but all in all it looks really good for me, Thanks for sharing! :D

  • aroj.com

    Reply Reply June 14, 2012

    Great post kathy.I am Akia Johnson.I am planning to switch my current job.I haven’t written my own resume for last 2 years.While writing resume i will definitely take your suggestion.I think every one need to understand what we need to add in resume or what not.Your sharing is appreciated. Kathy come up with new post like this.I would like to read your new upcoming post.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply June 14, 2012

      Thanks Akia – Glad you enjoyed the post. Good luck with your job search. And good luck writing your resume!
      Kathy

  • howmakearesume.com

    Reply Reply June 15, 2012

    Hi kathy, Nice post.Great work on this post.I am Yuth Martin.I have lost my good job opportunity because of wrong resume writing.Right now i am searching a job.From my experience i would like to say,before writing resume,there is need to read more article on resume. your blog is informative.Gives me lot of information. I like your blog.I am giving you +1. :)

  • J.D. Meier

    Reply Reply June 20, 2012

    Beautiful and to the point.

    It’s like focusing on activities over outcomes.

    Relevancy and results speak volumes.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply July 10, 2012

      I like the directness (and the aliteration) of ‘relevancy and results.’ That’s it in a concise nutshell! Well said J.D.

  • heines

    Reply Reply June 26, 2012

    Good advice for newbies. Good opportunity will be at one step if you do it right.:)

  • Sonia

    Reply Reply July 10, 2012

    Funny post. I love how straight to the point you were too. What I hate when reading resumes is that they all look the same. They start out with the same “objective” crap and they don’t tell me their “story”. What can you do for me and what did you do to impact the last business before me. If all I see is fluff I am already bored. I can actually careless about the education because these days, it’s experience I want and not the “I graduated from Stanford resume”.

    Congrats to anyone with those accolades, but if you have no experience in the job you’re applying for, it won’t matter much to me. Different strokes for different folks, but I don’t have time to hand-hold newbies.

    My advice: get to the point, tell me how you will solve my problem and don’t come in with a 3 page resume.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply July 10, 2012

      You’ve said it all so well, all I can say is AMEN TO THAT!

      Thanks for reading (and commenting) Sonia!

      • Sonia

        Reply Reply July 10, 2012

        Anytime, I enjoyed this post allot.

  • Astro Gremlin

    Reply Reply July 10, 2012

    Recent generations engage in resume engineering: joining clubs, engaging in charity, seeking honors, polishing their medals. It’s sad. They are told to do this, kept from harm at all times, ferried to after-school activities, warned to stay hydrated always, and don’t have a clue how to solve problems. Structured environment? Utterly.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply July 11, 2012

      Yeah, I’m gonna say that nothing about the environment you just described matches with a startup…except maybe staying hydrated.

      All I can assume is that there once was a time when HR people and college counselors wanted some entertainment, so that started promoting the inclusion of this utterly useless stuff.

      Nice Avatar/name BTW.

  • A little targeting never hurt anyone – like doing something radical like actually reading a job description? In my day job, I do pricing strategy and analytics. Number crunching – mix of math, computers, and business.

    So…when I post a pricing analyst job, there might just actually be a few things that potential applications should be able to do. Like maybe…. write code? Have real computer programming experience in one of the half-dozen languages I listed? Maybe have that college degree with some math courses?

    I mean it’s a pretty binary process people (pun intended) – I’ve got a small team and everybody does math and codes. We all work for a living. No Tourists. Most of the people in my space have to do this.

    So if you want a job in my space, why don’t you invest a little time learning the pre-requisites? Or at least show a little hustle, find me on linkedin, and cold call me to tell me why you want the job? Not sure if I’d actually *hire* someone into my crew based on properly executing that strategy, but you would sure get a referral elsewhere in the company for something if you did it right!

    But if you can’t code or meet the job requirements, your only pricing experience is at wal-mart (using the plastic thing that goes ka-chunk and puts tags on cans), and you don’t have the hustle to seek me out and try to sell me… Seriously, why are you wasting your time sending me a resume?

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply July 12, 2012

      Okay, so next time I’m gonna let you write the post. Because basically, you got it going on. Thanks for giving the entrepreneur perspective. And thanks for including the part about having hussle and contacting you directly. I’ve written about this, and mention it in a lecture I give at universities, but lots of potential employees don’t believe it. Glad to have a nod from an entrepreneur.

      So, let me know when you’ve got my next post done. Okay?

  • senang baca

    Reply Reply July 23, 2012

    Thank you so much for the your information… :D nice information

  • lenin

    Reply Reply August 10, 2012

    Short and sweet as far as I’m concerned, something a bit originaland authentic that stands out for me amongst all the othe resumes, as far as I’m concerned!

  • Liz

    Reply Reply August 15, 2012

    I have read hundreds of resumes in my time and the one item on a resume that really annoyed me was pictures. People attached pictures of themselves on a resume! I didn’t care what they looked like. I just needed someone who could do the job. If you are not applying for a modeling job don’t include a picture. Instant turn off.

  • Shiva @ Blog Writing

    Reply Reply August 21, 2012

    I actually recently completed my graduation and I think I landed upon a perfect article. I am certainly going to follow the tips mentioned in this article. I mean you did mention the mistakes that most people do, but this comes up as a tip for me as to what I should not do. I think most people add too much of personal stuffs in the resume while I think a resume must be more of a show professional achievements. But then again I wonder how to come up with a resume if you have not achieved much in the professional field..For example a fresher.

  • altcs az

    Reply Reply December 12, 2012

    I totally agree especially with the first point. A candidate that lists all of their accolades and life accomplishments is not needed in a professional interview. I believe a candidate should list relevant and important accomplishments that might highlight he loyalty and hard work. Thanks for the great post and tips for my next resume.

  • unik unik dunia

    Reply Reply January 26, 2013

    nice post, we’re always try to improve ours.elves to be qualified for having nice job

  • Scott

    Reply Reply March 1, 2013

    Good article!
    Shared on Fb too.

  • Drew Kuenzi

    Reply Reply June 7, 2013

    I love this article.
    - Bullet points are exactly what I was taught in school.
    - Tailor your resume for the job
    - Include what you did (Accomplishments) and not roles and responsibilities
    - Critical information should be up top
    - Less critical (note worthy) information should take second
    - While in school, make sure you have extracurricular activities (Leadership roles)
    - Your 4.0 earned the same degree as my 3.5 but I have a job because experience

    I have seen, since I have been employed, several professional resumes of those that have extensive backgrounds and experience. However, they feel the need to include chunks of text that tell us everything we need to know: You cannot summarize information effectively, and fail to highlight the important parts. Not something you want on your team working on multi million dollar software applications.

  • Danuta

    Reply Reply July 22, 2013

    My friend asked me to help write her resume. I looked blankly and honestly had no idea of what to do. I mean, I bounced my way through life from job, to business, to project, to kids, to project, to business again. I threw in a little teaching here and there, and lots of caffeinated business brainstorming sessions. Now how do I put that in a resume? What is more, how do I put my friend on a piece of paper? I don’t think I ever want to work for somebody else again, but I am dead keen to join a vision, create a community or style a life solution. You give me one of those balls and I’ll hit them out of the park. :D

  • Darlene Michaelis

    Reply Reply January 13, 2014

    Hi, Kathy. I read your article because I’m a resume writer who doesn’t want to piss off the hiring manager reader. I agree with most of what you said, except for the bullet points. I don’t like resumes that die under a hail of bullet points anymore than chunky, dense text. If everything is a bullet point, then nothing stands out. I think the focus should be on including relevant material in the most readable way possible. Sometimes, that story may need a bullet point and sometimes, a key word can be bolded.
    Thanks for the tips and I’m paying attention.

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply January 13, 2014

      Darlene – Great feedback! I agree, straight bullets would be dull. A short summary highlighting primary responsibility, followed by bullets that showcase results is probably the best balance. (Yes?) Thanks for sharing your perspective.
      Kathy

  • Jenna

    Reply Reply August 15, 2014

    This might be a dead post at this point, but I’ll give this a shot.

    I’m still in undergrad and will be in law school come next year. I’m trying to get an entry-level job in my projected career field. I have some relevant experience from a professional standpoint, but my schooling is still a huge aspect of my potential position. Can I bypass the advice about not including GPA or an extremely short mention of my academic honors? It seems relevant to most of the jobs I’ll be applying to, but I don’t want to come off as unprofessional before I even get in for an interview.

    Thanks!

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply August 15, 2014

      Jenna – You can absolutely bypass that tip! In fact for your situation, I’d absolutely bypass tip #1 and tip #3. For that matter, forget you read the post.

      The advice is really meant for those looking for jobs in the startup, or small business, world. I’m hoping that the advice hasn’t been taken to heart by folks in your situation….In case it has, call me when you graduate. I may need a good lawyer. :)

      Good luck with your job search and with law school!
      Kathy

      • Jenna

        Reply Reply August 15, 2014

        Thanks for the quick reply! I just want to say that I found this article on Pinterest, and it actually did help me a great deal! I have things like MS Office listed in my skills section, and I always wanted more room but was hesitant to take it out because I worried employers would think I didn’t know basic skills. You were the first to mention that they would assume a young professional has a handle on Word and Excel. Reading this, and a couple of other things along the way, helped me to find better ways of expressing myself and showing off what I have to offer.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field