Did Someone Really Write That?

Resumes are frequently used to make a first impression on hiring managers. Yet many job seekers are making mistakes on their resumes that are leading to a flat first impression. Here are some examples of resume content that falls flat, confuses, or amuses the reader -- all at the expense of the candidate.

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Too flat

Objective: I am seeking a challenging entry-level position that allows me to contribute my customer service skills, computer repair experience, and technical background.

Hiring managers don't care what type of position you are seeking and this objective offers very little information on how you will help the company solve their problems. Generally objectives are a waste of space and tell the reader nothing of value. Focus instead on explaining your competencies along with proof of how you help solve real business problems.

Too confusing

Objective: I love to learn and interact with people. I am very motivated and want to make a difference in the lives of the people in their community.

This applicant was an accountant. The objective doesn't fit the roles she will be targeting. Her accounting experience and skills aren't even mentioned in this objective statement. Don't confuse your reader. Craft a targeted opening that explains to the employer why you are a good fit for their open position.

Too cliche

Energetic, accomplished professional with over 20 years of office, administrative, and finance experience. Reputation for effective team management, strong organizational techniques. Pay critical attention to detail and excellent written/oral communication skills. Outstanding analytical skills with demonstrated ability to interpret and summarize information. Exceptional multi-tasking capabilities with effective time management techniques.

I can't tell you how many times I have read a similar profile at the top of a resume. Everyone claims to be a great team player and communicator but almost no one supplements these claims with any proof of these personal attributes. This type of profile is overused and it makes the candidate look lazy. Stop using the words that everyone uses on their resume and use the words that are relevant to you and your experience. If you are a great communicator, prove it to me; if attention to detail is critical to your job, give me an example where you used this competency to make money, save money, or save time for an employer.

Too revealing

While I advocate for disclosing dates of employment and education on a resume, despite the candidate's age, I don't recommend that older candidates make their age a focal part of the resume.

High School, 1976

This candidate placed this information in the top half of her resume even though she had other educational experiences from the 1990s that were more relevant. She also reported her education in chronological order (from earliest to most recent experience) rather than reverse chronological order (from most recent to earliest experience) calling more attention to her age.

Engineering professional with over 40 years of experience

This gentleman called attention to the number of years' experience he had in the opening sentence of his profile. A better strategy would be to focus on some specific aspect of his engineering career, where he had accomplished something noteworthy, in the past 10 years. For example, he might say he has 10 years' engineering experience with a focus on power generator installations. This information would probably be more relevant to his reader and it would call less attention to his age.

Too silly

I frequently receive resumes with e-mail addresses that are far from professional. This makes me question the candidate's judgment before I even read their resume. Some recent examples include:

  • thirstylady@...
  • lilstudnmd@...
  • uglypubs@...
  • bunnyhugcarroll@...
  • badgears@...
  • coolauntj@...
  • alady4agntlmn@...

Create an e-mail address that is some combination of your first and last name. Now's not the time to be cute or clever

Next: Resume Rescue: The No. 1 Resume Mistake and How to Fix It



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Filed under: Resume Rescue
Barbara Safani

Barbara Safani

Editor

Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over fifteen years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.

Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation skills, and online identity management.

She is the author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips For Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future and #JOBSEARCHtweet and her award-winning resumes are featured in dozens of career-related publications.

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Lies and Pursuits EQ

Bukllshit your ass off and lie like all the politicians do and You'll get HIRED peepolls.!
**** these HR ******* Snots, Lie People Lie ! And get your job, so what if ya get fired later, BIG Fkmng DEAL, That just means Unemployment Renewals! HoooRay! **** the COMPANY they dont care about the very HR ******** in Charge Either. Most of HR people sucked somebodys DICK in Jr. High School Gym Showers anyway. They most likely Drink their Own Piss and swallow their own Cum as well cause there aint anybody that'll believe their Horseshit they SPEW and their Jizz Juice deceits Day in Day out. I'll wager to even say, most of these HR people Play with their Own Feces, look at it, smells it and some even lick it and eat it. thats how God Dam queer they are

August 23 2011 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lies and Pursuits EQ

Babara has over 15 years of experience in career management?
Ok so she started out when she was 15 years old. Just because you are 30 years old You do not know Everything. You 30 somethings really piss America Off ya bunch of arrogant Know it all jack *****

August 23 2011 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Smile Lisa!!

I agree with all of these statements. It is also important to note that one must use keywords specific for your industry. Job sites have filtering systems that will consolidate candidates based on that criteria alone.

Best of luck on your resume.
- Lisa Cafiero (Professional Resume Writer: writethefirsttime dot net)

March 15 2011 at 12:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Smile Lisa!!

I agree with all of these statements. It is also important to note that one must use keywords specific for your industry. Job sites have filtering systems that will consolidate candidates based on that criteria alone.

Best of luck on your resume.
- Lisa Cafiero (Professional Resume Writer: writethefirsttime dot net)

March 15 2011 at 12:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
houseosims

Yada Yada Yada!!!! We all learned to sell ourselves when writing our resumes from articles like this one. Then when everybody does it, the HR folks admit it's all garbage to them. As for revealing one's age, most job applicantions are done online now. You are forced to reveal the dates of your high school attendance or you can't complete the app. If you lie, it won't bode well. If you're truthful, same thing. Let's face it, before all the ice floes melt away due to global heating, the HR folks hope older job seekers would go sit on one and float out to sea.

March 15 2011 at 12:01 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
haltom6

Even the very government agencies that are to monitor EEO, discriminate against older workers. It's hard to get even a crummy job if your a old white guy.

March 15 2011 at 11:23 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
trebordon

This article is a testimony to the fact that (AGE Discrimination) is an extremely significant problem for older workers seeking jobs. As part of the latest governmental budget challenge, strong consideration will be given to cutting social security program benefits, and you can rest assured--not to the benefit of the elderly who need every penny and more, just to survive. Decion-makers need to take a long, hard look at the reality of the job market and digest fully, how difficult it is for older workers to secure jobs in such a discriminatory job climate. I ask-- how is it remotely possible for older workers to meet the mandate of delaying retirement until the ripe old age of nearly 70?

I applaud the author, Barbara Safani, for stepping forward and exposing her findings through her personal experience as a recruiter with more than fifteen years experience consulting with both corporate clients and job seekers. If there were no age discrimination, which constitutes (a breach of EEO Regulations), older workers would have a great deal to boast about in their resumes. Why not? Every morsel of experience can in some way, serve to benefit the employer. The real attitude should be; "the more the merrier." when it comes to listing career experience. In fact, Hiring Managers should be looking much closer at resumes to glean all relevant expertise a candidate might have over a more inexperienced candidate. After all, if dated experience would serve to increase sales for example, or end in other gains in profitability, isn't that the goal in hiring?

This article, as many others written about the topic of Resume preparation, are generally in agreement when it comes to the advice that older job seekers need to remain silent or forego boasting about much of their relevant experience gained in the distant past. From my standpoint, I ask--In the case of applying for a management related position, for example --how can one button his/her lips and remain silent about stating the fact that they successfully managed a team of 25 agents dating back 35 years ago? In short, some of the most relevant work experience job seekers have--might not necessarily relate to the past ten years of employment. It's a daunting notion to think that an airline might opt to hire pilots with just 1-10 years experience over those with 25 or more years experience, who are otherwise fit to keep on flying. I guess we live and learn!

March 15 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
trebordon

This article is a testimony to the fact that (AGE Discrimination) is an extremely significant problem for older workers seeking jobs. As part of the latest governmental budget challenge, strong consideration will be given to cutting social security program benefits, and you can rest assured--not to the benefit of the elderly who need every penny and more, just to survive. Decion-makers need to take a long, hard look at the reality of the job market and digest fully, how difficult it is for older workers to secure jobs in such a discriminatory job climate. I ask-- how is it remotely possible for older workers to meet the mandate of delaying retirement until the ripe old age of nearly 70?

I applaud the author, Barbara Safani, for stepping forward and exposing her findings through her personal experience as a recruiter with more than fifteen years experience consulting with both corporate clients and job seekers. If there were no age discrimination, which constitutes (a breach of EEO Regulations), older workers would have a great deal to boast about in their resumes. Why not? Every morsel of experience can in some way, serve to benefit the employer. The real attitude should be; "the more the merrier." when it comes to listing career experience. In fact, Hiring Managers should be looking much closer at resumes to glean all relevant expertise a candidate might have over a more inexperienced candidate. After all, if dated experience would serve to increase sales for example, or end in other gains in profitability, isn't that the goal in hiring?

This article, as many others written about the topic of Resume preparation, are definitely in agreement when it comes to the advice that older job seekers need to remain silent or forego boasting about much of their relevant experience gained in the distant past. From my standpoint, I ask--In the case of applying for a management related position, for example, how can one button his/her lips and remain silent about stating the fact that they successfully managed a team of 25 agents dating back 35 years ago? In short, some of the most relevant work experience job seekers have--might not necessarily relate to the past ten years of employment. It's a daunting notion to think that an airline might opt to hire pilots with just 1-10 years experience over those with 25 or more years experience, who are otherwise fit to keep on flying. I guess we live and learn!

March 15 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
trebordon

This article is a testimony to the fact that (AGE Discrimination) is an extremely significant problem for older workers seeking jobs. As part of the latest governmental budget challenge, strong consideration will be given to cutting social security program benefits, and you can rest assured--not to the benefit of the elderly who need every penny and more, just to survive. Decion-makers need to take a long, hard look at the reality of the job market and digest fully, how difficult it is for older workers to secure jobs in such a discriminatory job climate. I ask-- how is it remotely possible for older workers to meet the mandate of delaying retirement until the ripe old age of nearly 70?

I applaud the author, Barbara Safani, for stepping forward and exposing her findings through her personal experience as a recruiter with more than fifteen years experience consulting with both corporate clients and job seekers. If there were no age discrimination, which constitutes (a breach of EEO Regulations), older workers would have a great deal to boast about in their resumes. Why not? Every morsel of experience can in some way, serve to benefit the employer. The real attitude should be; "the more the merrier." when it comes to listing career experience. In fact, Hiring Managers should be looking much closer at resumes to glean all relevant expertise a candidate might have over a more inexperienced candidate. After all, if dated experience would serve to increase sales for example, or end in other gains in profitability, isn't that the goal in hiring?

This article, as many others written about the topic of Resume preparation, are definitely in agreement when it comes to the advice that older job seekers need to remain silent or forego boasting about much of their relevant experience gained in the distant past. From my standpoint, I ask--In the case of applying for a management related position, for example, how can one button his/her lips and remain silent about stating the fact that they successfully managed a team of 25 agents dating back 35 years ago? In short, some of the most relevant work experience job seekers have--might not necessarily relate to the past ten years of employment. It's a daunting notion to think that an airline might opt to hire pilots with just 1-10 years experience over those with 25 or more years experience, who are otherwise fit to keep on flying. I guess we live and learn!

March 15 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ta ma'ra

NEVER have an email account with your real name in it. You make yourself a target to scam artists
and con's. It's easy to figure out if your single, married, live alone....by email addresses.
Another point be honest about your skills- goes a long way. Scared me someone would advise an email with your name.( I agree cute email looks bad on a resume.)

March 11 2011 at 4:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ta ma'ra's comment
Susan

Some e-mails, like hotmail or live, now have an "alias" e-mail that you can create to send and receive e-mails anonymously without revealing information stored on your account. Use your initials and a number or first name and last initial, something creative using your name, but not cutesy. I have found too many scammers on sites like Craigslist and this alias comes in handy when investigating them or attempting a reply. Simply open the e-mail and copy and paste their e-mail address into your alias mail if you're going to reply to someone. I always also ask for a name, phone number and/or valid e-mail address with any response to my posts. (Sorry if I seem skeptical, but I don't trust anybody anymore on the I-net.)

March 15 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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