In no particular order, here are 10 pet peeves I’ve acquired when looking at resumes over “my 20 years as a leading executive recruiter.”
1. Sales people: If you’re in sales, you should show the % of target or the $$$$ revenue you’ve made. If I’m hiring a salesperson, I don’t care about “strong ability to negotiate” or “excel in teamwork”. If you’re doing sales…show me the money.
2. Marketing people: if you want a job in marketing, start with yourself. If your resume doesn’t represent your skills and capabilities in marketing, then your hopes of getting a job dwindle! Of all the people in the world, the marketing professional should have the most beautiful resume.
3. Resume length: of course we live in a digital age, so the age of the 1 page A4 resume is dead. However, 7 pages is not acceptable….nor is 15 pages! especially if you only have 5 years of working experience (you know who you are). Keep your resume down to 2 pages. 3 tops.
4.Summary/Objective pt. 1: “Over 20 years as a global business leader armed with an ability and competency….” If America can teach us nothing else, it shows us that the world is still prejudiced and this includes agism. Companies may say they turn a blind eye, but in reality, they don’t. Don’t start your resume making me think you’re old.
5. Summary/Objective pt. 2: Unless you’re going to write something original, just take the summary or objective off. Honestly, I skip it most of the time. It’s like telling the dog not to eat the dropped bacon on the floor…is the dog listening? So too, most people see summaries and objectives as fluff. If you’re going to write it, lose the fluff.
6. Strengths: English. Please make sure you spell “English” correctly if this is your strength. Just saying.
7. Digital guru pt. 1: If you claim to be a digital guru and I can’t find you on the internet, then you may wish to reconsider your claims.
8. Digital guru pt. 2: Yes, if you apply, I will look at your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other place Google may take me. If you are on the internet, then figure as a hiring manager, I’m going to stalk you. Welcome to the 21st Century, Big Brother.
9. Excel skills: Please, please, please don’t write your resume in Excel. Even if you’re an accountant, refrain from writing your resume in a spreadsheet.
10. MS Skills: If you are still putting Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on your resume as IT skills, then I question your IT skills. Again, welcome to the 21st Century.