Six Reasons Why Most Resumes Are Lousy
By David Bellm
Approximately 482 words
Plenty of hiring professionals say that the typical resume they get is lousy.
Avoid getting branded with that less-than-flattering term by looking at these
key resume elements.
Ask any recruiter, hiring manager, or human resources person and they)ll tell
you that the overwhelming majority of resumes they get are flat-out lousy. Yeah,
these feeble attempts may be enough to get a candidate job with someone —
somewhere. But think of how much better they)d do if their resume was high
enough quality to stand out from this sea of mediocrity.
Here are the main reasons most resumes aren)t nearly as compelling as they could
Lack of focus
All too many resumes are just a generic cataloging of where the candidate worked
and how long he was there for. In contrast, your resume should be a highly
customized marketing document, in which you precisely tailor your experience to
focus on the employer)s needs for the job.
Most resumes ignore the crisp, compelling details that can add real power to a
resume. Instead, they describe projects with flat, unsubstantiated claims like
)Successful,) or )Important.) To add punch to those claims, tell the reader why
the project was important. For example, bring in the numbers with something
like, )Directed key business development project that increased revenue by 127%
in one year.)
Nothing to differentiate experience
Much of the weakness on a typical resume comes down to the fact that the
candidate hasn)t taken the time to really understand what makes him unique
compared to other people vying for the job. Examine your individual blend of
experience and skills and emphasize what make you special.
Responsibilities instead of accomplishments
Everybody lists the general nature of jobs on their resume. But any employer who
might care about those jobs almost certainly already knows what those jobs are
all about — nothing different from anyone else in that position. So do your
resume a favor and focus on your unique accomplishments. And if you don)t have
any, start working on some at your current job.
Focused too much on personal needs
Few resumes look at the hiring decision from an employer)s perspective. Take the
time to think of what would matter about you to a hiring manager. Key in on
those things and write your resume accordingly.
Generic visual style
Finally, most resumes are extremely bland looking. No, it)s generally not
appropriate to jazz up the document with wild fonts and flamboyant design
elements. In fact, that would probably work against you. But there are still
plenty of ways you can bring some life into the look of your resume. A little
variation in fonts, some bolding, and a well thought out sense of proportion can
do wonders. Look at the myriad of resume books for great ideas, or hire a pro
shape yours up for you