I’ve just finished reviewing 52 resumés, so, in case you’ll be applying for a job any time soon, I thought I’d offer a little unsolicited advice, based on what I’ve seen.
The next time you’re submitting a resumé for a job you want, DON’T, under any circumstances:
- include a picture of yourself talking on a cell phone with a fake smile pasted on your face. Your wife might tell you it’s the best likeness of you, but that doesn’t mean a potential employer wants to see it.
- include a whole page of quotes from everyone you’ve ever known, expounding on how great you are. One word – OVERKILL!
- tell me you’re overqualified, but you want the job anyway. I’m not impressed.
- phone and ask if you can go straight to the interview stage and skip the resumé stage. What are you hiding – the fact that you don’t know how to write?
- write a three line sentence in your cover letter using every big word and excessive adjective you can think of. If an employment counselor told you it was a good idea, don’t trust her – she doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
- write a lazy e-mail. You may be able to get away with “l8r” or “btw” with your friends, but it just doesn’t work when you’re applying for a job. GRAMMAR, people!
- brag too much. There’s a fine line between honesty and outright arrogance – don’t cross it.
- cram your entire resumé onto one page. I don’t CARE if that’s the way the resumé book told you to do it – they were WRONG! I can’t POSSIBLY know enough about you to consider interviewing you if all I have is one page.
- apply for a job in Alberta, and then proceed to tell me you’re not willing to move there.
- bold almost every line in your cover letter. No, you won’t impress me by YELLING AT ME!
- tell me that you’ve hob-knobbed with some of the most wealthy people and corporations in the world. That might get you a job with an investment company, but not a non-profit organization.
- tell me you habitually work 16 hour days, 6 days a week. That tells me a few things about you – none of them flattering. Like a) you have no life and have to cling to your job for your sense of fulfillment, or b) you like to avoid your wife and kids and so spend most of your time at the office, or c) you work at a very inefficient pace and can never get the job done on time, or d) you like to soak the company for every bit of overtime you can get, or e) you haven’t got a clue what the word “balance” means, or f) you’re a workaholic with no personality.
- tell me that God wants you to have the job. God might, but he needs ME to cooperate!