Monday, September 29, 2008

Top 10 Things Recruiters Hate About Resumes

I'm back from a whirlwind trip to San Diego and the National Resume Writers' Association annual conference, which truly rocked. This week I'll be slicing, dicing, and serving up the juiciest bits I learned there.

For starters, here are some resume don'ts from the HR manager panel discussion moderated by Community Relations Director Rosanna Indie:

Top 10 Things Recruiters Hate About Resumes

  1. Spelling errors, typos, and poor grammar
  2. Too duty oriented, not highlighting accomplishments
  3. Omitted or inaccurate dates
  4. Incomplete or incorrect contact information
  5. Inappropriate e-mail addresses (like
  6. Functional resume formats instead of chronological
  7. Long resumes
  8. Long, run-on paragraphs
  9. Person not qualified for the job they're applying for
  10. Inclusion of personal information not relevant to the position

The whole group had their eyes opened by #6. Many people prepare resumes that highlight their relevant skills when their job history has gaps or isn't relevant to the position they seek. But this panel was unequivocal about it: They hate those. They throw them in the trash. They want to see a chronology and actual job titles. A compromise: Use a summary of your skills at the top of the resume before launching into the chronological job listings.


Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

The only people for whom a functional résumé works are freelancers. That's because although we need to show our profession-related background, we aren't trying for long-term jobs. We just want the professional equivalent of serial one-night stands. For freelancers who need to put together a functional résumé, the booklet Résumés for Freelancers, from the Editorial Freelancers Association, is very helpful.

Lori Cates Hand said...

Very cool! I didn't know this document existed, but now I feel like I need to get my hands on it!

Mark Roy Long said...

#5 is my personal pet peeve. Back when I was covering resume writing in technical writing classes here at TSTC I was just stunned/horrified by the some of the email addresses I'd get on student resumes. I mean, really! There were a bunch I'd never ever want on the server log here at the school as having sent an email to!

Lori Cates Hand said...

Katharine--my friend just bought this guide for me and I intend to review it on the blog at some point. Thanks for alerting me to it.

Mark--You would think this would be common sense, wouldn't you? :)

Sheila said...

I'm the author of Resumes for Freelancers. The point of the booklet is that while the standard resume is fine for a standard job climbing the standard corporate ladder, it's useless for a freelancer looking for a gig. The functional resume is a far better tool seen from that perspective. That HR managers hate this format is largely irrelevant--most freelancers aren't hired through the HR department.

varsha said...

A good post on "Top 10 Things Recruiters Hate About Resumes".An important point is a resume and cover letter should be the marketing tools that help candidate to land the position that is perfect for him.


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