Category Archives: resumes

…You paid good money for this?

 

A really good candidate calls me and sends in his resume. Now I appreciate the anxiety and difficulty that people have in finding a job, let alone writing a resume, etc., but this guy’s got more than 20 years of sales and sales management experience. I looked at his resume and had to ask him, “Did you pay money for this?”

The very first page and a half… a whole page and a half…was written in 10 point characters. It is tremendously busy with nowhere near enough white space. The “content” of this first page and a half began with things like “self-motivated… assertive… confident… personable/likable… fast-paced… complex (not sure what that means)… collaborative… committed to professional growth… effective… productive under pressure”, etc. These were followed by comments like, “leadership philosophy, do your best and have fun… making things happen…strong strategic account planning and execution with creative approach to problem solving… tenacious drive.” And on the first page there were nine text boxes that had things like, “new market development and growth… up selling… cross-selling… C-level sales presentations…” in them. Even Starbucks isn’t this busy on Saturday morning at 8 AM.

In the middle of the second page he begins his “professional experience.” He provides NO dates… you read right …NO dates of employment for each one of the experiences he describes. He describes what each company does but does NOT give the name of the last five companies that he’s worked for. He describes them with things like, “business intelligence and analytics software firm,”… “This billion-dollar company that provides electronic design automation software.”  NO dates and NO names of companies. No wonder he isn’t getting any interviews.

I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture. For what it’s worth, the observations get worse. This fellow paid $500 to have somebody write this. Unbelievable!

Any reasonable businessperson should be able to write their own resume. Some resume writers really know what they’re doing and some don’t. Here is the challenge that resume writers have – none of them really ever found anyone a job. They may write a seemingly good resume but they don’t really find anyone a job. They often write resumes that they think hiring authorities and companies want to see. They will tell most consumers that their customers “like” the resumes they write. This fellow, a very accomplished twenty-year sales veteran, should’ve been able to see that this resume wasn’t going to get him anywhere. What a candidate thinks of her resume and what a resume writer thinks of the resume they write may not have anything to do with what the hiring authority might want in a resume.

Here are a few basic points about resumes that keep it simple

People don’t care about your “professional summary,” “objective,” etc. They care about, “what can you do for me TODAY!” Remember that whoever is reading your resume doesn’t really “read” your resume. They scan your resume to see if they know the companies you worked for, what you did at those companies in terms they understand and what your performance was. It’s that simple. 99% of the people who initially look at your resume DON’T READ IT!! They scan it. If they see what they like, they set it aside and either really read it later or simply call you for an interview. It’s that simple! Just because, for instance, you know what your company, ABC, Inc. does, does not mean the resume reader will know what ABC, Inc. does. There are 1.7 million businesses in the United States and I guarantee you very few of them state what they do in their name.

There are thousands of books and articles about resumes. I’ve written one of those books and a number of articles. Some of the folks that write them know what they’re doing and some don’t. Use common sense. Ask yourself, “is this resume going to compete well with the 180 other resumes the hiring authority is going to be sent? Does it tell people who I’ve worked for, what they do and how successful I was?”

I told my candidate he ought to ask for his $500 back. Probably should’ve minded my own business.

 

 

 

…why i don’t like ‘objective’ on your resume

…employers and hiring authorities don’t care what your objective is…they don’t care about what your goals or objectives are…they don’t care what you want….

they care about what they want

so, most objectives describe what the candidate wants…they are usually written with global language that means nothing..they don’t get read by a hiring authority and if they do, most of the time, it will eliminate the candidate..

your resume should explain what you have done, who you have done it for and how successful you have been…it should say…”i have done a great job for my employers in the past,so i will do a great job for you”

what you want should have nothing to do with your resume

go look at the objectives on most resumes…you’ll see what i mean…

..download my resume…go to my linkedin profile

i get candidates that send me a cover letter, telling me how good they are…fair enough..bu then, instead of attaching a resume, the want to get fancy and tell me to go to their website and download their resume…or to go to their linkedin profile and view their experience..

DON’T DO THIS….hiring authorities and guys like me who get 100 resumes a day, don’t have time to go to another website or to a linkedin profile and download information…there are simply too many resumes..

now, a few years from now, when there are more jobs than people…and it will come.. ( i remember the mid 70’s, late 80’s, late 90’s when people could get a job without a resume) you can tell hiring authorities and recruiters to download your resume or go to your linkedin page…but for the foreseeable future, send your resume the traditional way..

the other day i got a “power point resume”…a well put together power point presentation…unfortunately, it did not contain the candidates contact information and it was a mess when i printed it out….don’t do this either

…five biggest resume mistakes

1. people overestimate the value of a resume…it isn’t going to get you a job…sending it, thinking that it is magical, is an error…it may not even get you an interview

2. the average resume gets read in 10 seconds…don’t think someone is reading and digesting what you wrote…if you don’t get their attention in 10 seconds, it isn’t working

3. people underestimate the number of resumes they are competing with…on average …300

4. people overestimate the qualifications of the people who will screen, read and or “pass” their resume along…if you think the “right” people are reading your resume..you are wrong…

5. people write the wrong content on their resume…they write what they understand about themselves …forgetting that unless they are clear about what their company does and what they do, most people won’t understand it…if your resume can’t be understood by a high school senior…who doesn’t know you…you are writing the wrong content…

…keep ’em short and to the point

get this right!…long emails to potential employers don’t get read…

just like cover letters and even resumes..keep ’em short and to the point…emails should be four or five lines..no more..

hiring authorities get hundreds of emails a day…they even miss some…but anything longer than four or five lines will get shorted…use bullet points and “hit ’em quick and hard”

you are going to read it four or five times before you send it…your hiring authority is going to scan it once…maybe read the first two sentences or so…

blind sided

our candidate got the offer…accepted the job…was told it was dependent on a credit check…

his credit was excellent…no problem!

wellllllll..one of the places that his credit report said that he had worked at wasn’t on his resume…he had been at that company for only 3 or 4 months and it showed up on his credit report…. but he thought it best not to put it on his resume..

we can sympathize with him and understand…but the client didn’t…offer rescinded..

the lesson here is obvious..think twice before keeping a job off your resume..

thoughts on references

lately..and these things come in streaks..we have had a “rash” of lessons as a result of references for our candidates that have caused problems or cost the candidate the job..

over the next few blogs, we are going to discuss them..

last week, one of our candidates gave a previous peer as a reference…when the hiring authority checked this reference, the reference giver said that he had not worked with the candidate in over a year…!!!

the candidate had told the hiring authority that he had left his last job last month…so the hiring authority jumped to the conclusion that the candidate was lying about when he left his last job…

we eventually cleared the misunderstanding up…it was true that the reference hadn’t worked with the candidate in more than a year…because the reference was moved to a different department of the company…the employer didn’t hear that, because the reference didn’t make it clear..

remember, hiring authorities are afraid of making a mistake…they will be fearful of the smallest issue or misunderstanding..

make sure your references are “reading from the same page”.,.it took a whole day of calls to other people that worked with our candidate to clear this up…

call your references before they are called by the hiring authority…share with them what the hiring authority is going to want to know…

common sense

one of our candidates “rewrote” her resume…left off a three month short gig at a company 2 years ago…she has had too many jobs and figured it would be better to do that..

well, she forgot to “update” her resume on linkedin…so, one of our clients got it…went to linkedin to see what he could find out about her…found the “old” resume and decided not to pursue her..

lesson: keep your resumes consistent…don’t shoot yourself in the foot

…don’t lie

it happened again today…oh, my goodness..this is soooooo sad..

a candidate i placed started his job last week..the company finally got around to checking his background and found that he lied about having a degree..they fired him on the spot..

since 1973, i have never understood why people lie …especially about something so easy to check..

DON’T LIE..it is dumb…dumb…dumb