Jan 17, 2008

How to write a résumé that won’t get you hired

In the last couple of years, people have been kind enough to trust in me reviewing, revising, and redoing their résumés. I was lucky enough to be given two free courses in résumé writing, I got a few tips and I’ve actually been able to help out some of those people by fixing and forwarding their documents. If you didn’t know, there are actually people who make this a living and get paid a pretty penny in the process. I don’t charge for friends, but hey, I might begin to do so because it seems I might help a bit in the process. So since I’ve been in résumé tweakage mode, I thought about the different things that people do to make a totally shitty résumé. First though, five facts you should know about résumés.

• Creative Directors and Human Resource managers are constantly receiving résumés and they should honestly have a cache of over a hundred résumés of people asking for a job. This means you have about 15 seconds to get your readers attention.

• It is a given fact that a large portion of Human Resource personnel forget to do background checks. That being said, you should still stay away from lying on your résumé. I know it’s hard but it’s always better to bullshit than to lie.

• If you don’t know someone who works at the place, odds are your file will fall in the “I’ll check these people later” pile. Try and find someone you know or make contact with the people inside.

• Look at your résumé, be brutally honest, ask for opinions from people you know and test it out.

• Don’t look for online résumé references or work on someone else’s résumé. You're asking for something stupid to happen.

Now that you’ve been warned, here are ten things you can definitely do if you want your résumé to NOT get you hired or tossed into the trash bin.

1. Write an objective saying how you’re looking for professional growth and a place where your skills can be honed. Anyone reading a résumé will be thrilled to know that you looked up examples of what should be written in a résumé and that you copy and pasted it.

2. Put your education first. Of course it’s more important to know your high school GPA than it is to know where you’ve worked at.

3. Ef, et iz wretton wrung, dey’ll toss it. I.e.: Put as many typos in your résumé as humanly possible. It shows creativity.

4. Write huge paragraphs. People love to read everything you have to say. The more you write the better because huge text boxes always are more fun than direct statements of what you’ve done.

5. Constantly repeat yourself. Also repeating yourself constantly would be good, because when you repeat yourself constantly, it means that you yourself can repeat yourself constantly.

6. Always, always, always remind people that references are available upon request.

7. Use the lamest font or the craziest, but never something tasteful. You don’t want a recruiter to actually NOT flinch when they see your résumé.

8. Have your résumé be two or three pages. That really makes an impression. Also make sure it’s stapled poorly. That Really rocks.

9. Don’t waste paper. Send an old résumé you printed three years back that has a crease mark right in the middle of the page.

10. Say that you can browse the web, that’s SUPER important.

Like these, there are a bunch of other recommendations, but those will cost you extra buddy. For now though, tweak and sit back so all them calls roll in and you can ask for a bazillion dollars.



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