Originally Posted: 2007-03-09 14:39 (no longer live)

Ways to not write a resume.

Don't be offended if you see yourself in here, but please do get some professional help. There are people who will do this for you, and you clearly need their assistance.


Cover letters are not optional, people. No, I didn't ask for one. You know why? Because they're the default. At the very least, write a paragraph in your e-mail to me so I can see that you aren't a monkey accidentally forwarding your owner's resume.


Objectives are stupid.
Clearly, your objective is to land the job, or else you wouldn't be applying. But if you have listened to the idiots who've written books about its necessity (notice they work for themselves, and haven't been hired anywhere in a while), at least keep it short, sweet, and related to the actual job for which you're applying as opposed to the generic tripe that has come through my desk the past four hours. Such as:

"Objective: To obtain a secretarial/receptionist position where I can utilize my skills in customer service while demonstrating a customer first attitude yet utilizing my wide variety of administrative skills by pushing and advancing the office entirely by giving organization and any assistance as needed all still while gaining any and all available knowledge within the office environment"

First of all, the position isn't for that of a receptionist or secretary; read the posting. You're already down two points. Second of all, if you're going to throw buzzwords like "utilize" about willy-nilly, at least don't do it twice in the same sentence. Next, make sense. "...by pushing and advancing the office entirely by giving organization and any assistance as needed..."? Seriously? Is that supposed to make sense or be in English? Lastly, utilize the comma. I'd rather you overuse this little friend of ours than underuse him, especially if you're going to make a huge-ass paragraph only one sentence.

"Objective: To work my hardest to achieve goals in the near future."

*insert buzzer sound here* I'm not even reading the rest of that resume.

"Objective: To obtain full-time or part-time permanent employment with a stable business."

Very tailored to our company. I hear McDonald's is hiring, too.

"Objective: To obtain a position in a company that will best utilize my skills in data analysis and information technology, as well as expand my knowledge of National Disclosure Policy; a position that challenges my abilities and allows for opportunities to grow with the company."

Points for the correct use of a semicolon, but if I don't even know what a national disclosure policy is, then my company isn't going to be able to help you expand your knowledge of it. Also, we're not an IT company, nor are you applying for an IT position, so tailor that down for me, will you? Stick it in the skills section. (More on those moronic lists shortly.)

"Objective: To gain the proper skills and knowledge to run a professional business."

Do we look like an MBA program? And if you want to run a business, why are you applying for part time assistant positions? How about applying to be an assistant manager somewhere?


I don't care if you were king of the chess team.
How often does it need to be said that if you've gone to college, I don't want to know about your high school? Especially if it was over ten years ago, folks.

"2001-2003 B.A., Strayer University". This may just be me, but even at a pay-for-your-degree school, how do you achieve a B.A. in just two years? And what is it supposedly in? There's no field of study listed.

"Xxxxxx University, Bachelor of Science, Sports Management. GPA: 3.12." A B.S. in Sports Management (snicker) and you still only had a 3.12 GPA? You're taking phys ed for college credit. The least you can do is get more As than Bs.


That pesky attention to detail.
When I specify that I need someone with attention to detail, that means lots of misspellings and non-words like "a maculate list" are not going to gain you any points. An immaculate list, perhaps?

"...your posting on Craigslist.com." It's actually craigslist.org.

"During this time I am searching for employment within a company that can help me earn hours and experience within a school setting and to also help build my administrative skills further. I am currently seeking salary in the range of 25k-35k and 40 hours a week." We specified $10-15 for 20 hours a week. Oh, and we're not a school. Kthxbye.

"Period [of employment] 9/15/04 - 3/28/06. Reason for Leaving: Other Job opportunity" Yet, that job opportunity isn't listed on his resume. Hmm.

"In response to your advertised position, Advertising Rep, please find attached a copy of my resume." While I appreciate the effort that went into changing his subject line to "Memeber Asssistant," you first gotta spell things correctly and then follow that all the way through, buddy. Also, titling your resume as "August 2006" isn't getting me all warm and fuzzy, either. I'm glad you've been unable to update your resume for eight months.

"[Singular Company Name]s" and "Members Care" from the same person. Shes likes addings the Ss, nos?

"I am a Professional who leverages 10+ years of Executive assistance..." You'd think she'd know when to capitalize and not capitalize words, then.

"Trained employees to use OPTIX software in order to gather data on in coming and perspective students." Are perspective students like philosophy students? And since when is "incoming" two words?


If you're claiming a skill, actually have it.
For instance, when your skillset includes "filing/editing" but is followed by "Photo Shop" improperly spaced, that means you're not very good at the first one, and you probably don't use the second often enough to know how to spell it. Therefore, you're probably an exaggerator, meaning I can't trust anything else on your resume. Bye-bye.

"Telephone Skills". What does that mean, that you can operate one? Good job. So can a three year old. If you mean one of those multi-line, complicated telephone *systems*, then yes, that is something to put on your resume -- if you were applying to be a receptionist in a busy office. You're not.

"Office Procedures". What the hell does that mean? How is that a skill?

When your resume looks like two boring run-on paragraphs and a list, all of which is centered on the page in the most rudimentary fashion, don't list "graphic design" as one of your skills. Please spare me.

"Treat people with respect." Shouldn't that be a given? Also, why is that your third most-important skillset? Did you have to work very hard at it?


Stop throwing in complete bullshit just to make it sound fancy.
The following is a list of why you should never throw words together if you don't know what they mean (the long-winded objective from above could also be put in this category).

"My ability to learn quickly is a key essential."
"My numerous areas of expertise and professional work related skills are highly superior in many office related skills."
"Being so detailed and goal oriented provides me with the ability to have outstanding organizational skills which enthusiastically allows me to succeed well within all goals set."
"My background and my education are the met qualifications in this job description."
"Enclosed you will find my resume for your viewing and review purposes."
"Assisted to directorate of Member Services..."
"I am a very talented part-time college student..." (Do I want to know what you're talents are? Because this sounds like the start of a different sort of CL ad, the kind that end with "looking for a sugar daddy to help me pay for books.")
"Enabling to multi-task with different projects in an amount of time."
"Assisted to Customers needs and questions."
"Having customers leave with a wonderful experience and quality insurance." (And no, he wasn't selling insurance, either.)
"I am multi-tasked, organizer, knowledgeable of computers, fast skill learner, prompt, warm and friendly woman." (Hubbinawha?)
"I saw your posting on Craig's List and was interested in the position if it is currently available." (No, we filled it within two hours of posting it. What kind of stupid question is that?)
"I was responsible for scheduling performers from around the country to perform at my bi-monthly coffeehouses."


Other miscellaneous details

"(301) xxx-xxxx (Phone)" Really? That's a phone number? I'd never have guessed.

There is absolutely no reason that someone who graduated high school less than four years ago needs a three page resume. None. I graduated seven years ago and worked in two completely different fields, and mine's still under a page.

"2001 - 2001", then later "2006 - 2006", no months listed. Man, those were some great eras.

If you're currently a teacher, there is no need to mention your two-month stint at a concession stand six years ago. Promise. And for the same person, if you put that you were a 2nd grade teacher from September 2006 until February 2007, that makes me think you got fired, because February was last month. We're in March now. Either you were fired, which is not going to bode well, or you didn't read over the resume carefully before sending it to me, which means you lack the needed attention to detail. See above.

A friend had the unprofessional e-mail address issue with the "get high with me @" guy a couple months ago. Today's is a l33t-speak "sky's the limit," but spelled "skiis," which took me three minutes to figure out wasn't some reference to cocaine. And compared to these other asses, she's actually got one of the better resumes, so it's a shame her e-mail address shows she's a moron.

If you are claiming the management of operations for a home office as a previous position, you need to a) add a cover letter, and b) explain in your cover letter why you want to now work part-time for little money at a low-level job.

"Very hard working even when no one is."
Just because your previous job had lots of slackers doesn't mean that we are, so cut out the holier-than-thou attitude, 'kay?

Do you hate my eyes? Because why else would you put your resume in 8pt. font? The blocks of unbroken texts are not helping you, either. You know what? I'm tossing this one already, and I'm only three lines into it.

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