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Old 12-09-2013, 02:24 PM
 
1,115 posts, read 1,994,439 times
Reputation: 2111

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Disclaimer: I am not a recruiter, HR rep, or Hiring Manager.

I am part of an email list that occasional posts jobs and shares resumes for people looking for work in my industry. I am a mid level design professional, and am not any type of hiring manager, but I get to see many other people's resumes through this email list. I also have seen many others' resumes through work when we were making additions to the team, as well as various acquaintances' resumes from various channels. There is one common theme.

They are all terrible...

I feel that as if everything that I've learned about proper resume writing has been wiped off the map and apparently doesn't matter anymore. Things like proper grammar, succinct information, proper formatting, neatness, etc. etc., no one seems to care about it anymore. As someone that takes great care in putting together a very nice resume for each position, I'm beginning to feel my time is wasted as my success rate is not astonishing, but the effort I put into the resumes is very high. It's upsetting to see such horrible resumes being accepted by companies. Let me share some examples of the common resume gaffs I typically see that A LOT OF PEOPLE do.

1. Long resumes
- Just a couple weeks ago, there was a resume of a guy who had an 8 page resume. 8 PAGES..... He pretty much described every position with 2-3 paragraphs of description (written style, not bullet points), and the formatting was awful. His resume was a mess of different font types, styles, and sizes. This guy was only a senior level designer as well, but even if he had 20 years of experience you don't need more than 3 pages max. I couldn't believe it, how this guy would ever get hired, but yet this guy had a respectable work history.

2. Grammatical errors
- ughhh, come on people, spell check and proofread. Yes, I see many resumes with typos, and it seems to be more and more acceptable. One resume I saw a couple months ago probably had around 20 typos... was this guy drunk when making his resume? Another guy spelled his name wrong (it was in two different places on the resume spelled differently), yet another guy spelled the state he lived in wrong. Minor punctuation errors might be ok to overlook (depending on if you're an english nazi or not), but you wouldn't believe just how many people have resumes with lots of words spelled terribly wrong. Very sad.

3. Absolutely crap formatting
- the person's name and address is randomly floating somewhere at the top, a phone number is placed off center in a corner, paragraphs aren't aligned and text is all over the place. So many resumes have no sense of space or format, rather just snippets of text randomly placed over the pages. You would think that designers and artists (whom most of the resumes I view are from) would take care with this kind of stuff.

4. Inconsistent styling
- a minor point, but still one that lends to the overall look of your resume. I see so many resumes that will use inconsistent text style options. Like using one font in one area, and another font in the next, then back to the first font. Or bolding a certain part of your resume, like a job title, but not bolding it for the next job entry. Or using different size fonts.... sadly I see different sized fonts, I'm talking about one paragraph being like size 10 font, and the next size 11, not just something like a job title or header being bigger font.

5. Including personal information
- no, just no. This is stuff like including a picture of yourself, or your hobbies, or other tidbits of information like church goer and father of four, or single mom who knows how to dance, or avid basketball and football player. STOP, why the hell do you think your hobbies are going to qualify you for the job. Sadly, lots of people do this.

And what happens in the end? These people get jobs because their resumes are being shared on a private "hidden market" email list and at the end of the day it's more about word of mouth references than who can put together a proper resume.

Anyone else have any stories about terrible resumes they have seen? I still can't believe the 8 page one...
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:49 PM
 
1,049 posts, read 2,519,662 times
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I feel like this same post crops up about once a month... Why don't people worry about their own resume instead of others'?
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,794 posts, read 13,281,490 times
Reputation: 15928
Resumes are like arm pits everyone has one and everyone thinks everybody elses stinks.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,612 posts, read 13,141,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth23 View Post
I feel like this same post crops up about once a month... Why don't people worry about their own resume instead of others'?
Many threads on this, Often with good advice on how to write or re-write ones. I came across a handwritten one once that was given to me. That was bad. Usual basic rules are one page if possible and have it stand out within a few seconds so it does not get "filed."
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
453 posts, read 519,433 times
Reputation: 666
There was a time, back in the day, when adding a brief list of your hobbies at the end of a resume was encouraged or at least considered normal. Perhaps not surprisingly, the "day" in which this was the case was also back when employers actually regarded their employees as people and wanted to know a bit about them beyond just educational attainments and what jobs they'd previously had. A person's hobbies can tell you a bit about what that person is like, and can reflect how well they may or may not mesh with the company culture or the particular manager's personal style.

That said, adding that you go to church or have children is a no-no, as both are AFAIK protected information not permitted to be used in making hiring decisions.

As for horrible punctuation, spelling, visual organization and other issues: By all that's holy, I agree.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:33 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 8,637,117 times
Reputation: 6514
Yup, make them simple. I've seen 6 page resumes before and I was really baffled. The average HR dept will only spend 30 seconds on each resume...
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:33 PM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,158,624 times
Reputation: 32409
I hope other's stink. Mine will shine through.

Are people confusing a CV and a resume? CVs are long.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:34 PM
 
1,369 posts, read 2,002,956 times
Reputation: 770
I usually don't agree with threads like this where people are judged solely on the presentation of their resume but your points are fair. I don't agree that resumes need to be one page but 8 pages would be excessive for just about anyone. Even for 20 years experience, 3 pages showing relevant or more relevant experience should give a good idea of your skillset. You could always go into more detail during the interview.

I think some typos are ok but excessive typos show a lack of effort as well as mismatched fonts, etc. That just demonstrates someone was probably copying and pasting from who knows what source and couldn't even take the time to match up the fonts (this takes about 5 seconds in Word).

Also, agree that personal hobbies aren't necessary unless they somehow pertain to the job.

But I'm kind of surprised with your experiences. I've been in a position where I've seen probably a 100 or so resumes over the past few years and I don't really remember too many standing out as poor formats. But I work in IT, perhaps people applying for artsy jobs feel they have to demonstrate some creativity with their resumes to help stand out.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
471 posts, read 764,585 times
Reputation: 746
The classic paradox about resumes: If you get an interview, you think yours was great!. If you don't get an interview, you automatically assume that there is something wrong that needs " fixing ". My years on this planet have convinced me that getting hired really comes down to sheer luck and random chance. I don't feel resumes serve any purpose at all except to help " the idiots declare themselves ".

And what's with that ultimate resume insult; when they have you fill out the application anyway..?!
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
453 posts, read 519,433 times
Reputation: 666
Typos on a resume: Why? There's really no excuse for them in this day and age. Typos in a quick forum post, sure. But when you're trying to present yourself in your best light by writing a resume, there's no excuse. You take your time with a resume, run it through spell check AND grammar check (unless you're an expert at spelling, grammar and proofreading).

THEN you get at least two other people to look it over, so they can catch things that neither you or your computer caught.

The tools are available and even an idiot can use them.
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