Your Resume Sucks!!!!

Jun 01, 2021

I look at a lot of resumes every day. Having spent close to 15 years in HR and another 7 or 8 in operations, I suspect over that time frame I have seen over 5,336 resumes.

Early on, resumes weren't a large part of what I did because I was hiring cooks, bartenders and servers but eventually, it lead to hiring of managers, directors and vice presidents.

Let me tell you, after perusing that many over the years, I can tell you without a doubt your resume probably sucks.





For example, a recent position I was looking to fill was that of a Network Administrator. Pain does not begin to describe what the process and review was like. Without exception, every single one was over 2 pages long. CRAZINESS!

Technobabble was a large part of every line of skills. Unfortunately for these candidates, the Recruiter was not a technical recruiter so it hurt them.

Having said that, let's look at some of the biggest mistakes being made on resumes and how to polish them up so you can become someone to get the job.

Using An Objective Statement

Look, objective statements are not what they once were. They were designed to get a little bit of perspective on goal and aspirations:

"To obtain a challenging position with a growing company in the Accounting field where I can utilize my skills and experience..."

Sure, it all sounds good but it doesn't really say anything. That is the kiss of death. Recruiters have seen statements like that and I feel most simply don't look at them anymore.

Am I saying don't use an Objective Statement? I guess I am. Looking at resumes every day, I just feel it is wasted space and too often a misguided attempt at flattery to a potential employer.

Non Specific Dates of Employment

Want to irritate a recruiter or hiring manager? Use just years for your dates of employment. 2008-2009 leads some to think, "Hmmmmm, what went wrong here...?". This is NOT the reaction you want.

May 2008 to November 2009 is:

  • More honest...
  • Shows longer tenure...
  • Triggers the thoughts of detail orientation and a level of loyalty...

I hate to say it but your resume is your sales tool to sell YOU. Having the best possible presentation is paramount. Do everything you possibly can to show all of your strengths and remove any lingering questions for the recruiter.

Too Many Pages

This happens far too often. It pains me to write it but this is a HUGE problem. I guess the thought is I want to put every last bit of experience I have into my resume so I can show a potential employer how valuable I am.

That's not always what happens. In fact, more often than not, a recruiter simply stops reading and moves on to the next one.

I remember working at a beautiful resort in Southern California and hiring for a Restaurant Manager position. I vividly remember reading a resume for this position that was 17 pages lon!!! What the #$^&^%...

Normally after 2-3 pages, I am done but the scroll bar on Microsoft Word was still close to the top of my screen and I just had to know how long it was.

Did I read all 17 pages? Hell no!

Did he get the job? Nope, not even an interview.

Is that fair? No, it sure isn't but the reality is, time is precious in recruitment and there were other priorities which had to be balanced.

Including a Photo

OK, this one comes with an asterisk attached.

If you are applying for a creative type role such as Actor/Actress, then a headshot will be mandatory. By and large, you should never put your photo on your resume.

I have done a fair amount of recruiting from overseas and it is very common and in many places, mandatory, to include your image as a part of your CV or Curriculum Vitae. Here in the States, the photo could lead to unpleasant issues for the Headhunter or Company because of potential discrimination.

There are protections in place for people over the age of 40 and for obvious reasons, an image of you may indicate your age. Additionally, the recruiter should be seeking to fill the position with the most qualified candidate regardless of appearance.

This isn't always the case. I see too many lawsuits and claims of discrimination based on things like this so it still exists. Do yourself a favor and remove any photos of you on your resume. Unless of course it is needed as mentioned earlier.

Using Crazy Designs

Google resume templates and you will find 1,000,000's of results:

Many of these are stellar and will certainly get the job done but there are plenty which are outside the norm for resumes. Now I know over time resume styles and expectations will change, but there are still a lot of companies and recruiters looking for traditional styles.

It is VERY important to remember someone has to read your resume. The last thing you want to do is make it any type of challenge for them to read. Clean and simple should be the mantra of the day when you are working on your resume.

There You Have It: 5 Things Hurting Your Resume

These are 5 very easy and very effective things to focus on when it comes to your resume:

  1. Objective Statement
  2. Nonspecific Dates
  3. Too Many Pages
  4. Using a Photo
  5. Bad Resume Formats and Templates

You should see the benefit of correcting any of these errors you may have on your resume. As someone who still hires and looks at resumes every day, I give you firsthand expereince for what I am looking for.

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