In honor of Halloween, I’m sharing with you my five scariest resume moments:
- I realize the job applicant doesn’t want help but confirmation. If you are absolutely sure that everything about your resume is right—and the only reason you haven’t had an interview yet is because employers and the universe are against you—please try not to haunt Robin’s Resumes®. I love helping job applicants, but they need to want help.
- I realize that the job applicant has depended entirely on electronic grammar and spelling checkers—and prefers their advice to a dictionary or grammar book. Online spelling checkers have some merit; online grammar checkers have zero, zip, none. Always point out suspected errors. But if I confirm that your sentence needs “is,” not “are,” or that the word you want is “effect,” not affect,” I know what I am talking about and any printed grammar book or dictionary will back me up.
- I discover that the job applicant has never read the resume. My skills in resume writing are excellent; in mind reading, not so much. Please do not come back to me after a job interview and complain then about any factual errors or inconsistencies. Read your resume before you use it. I’m always happy to make corrections.
- I find out that the job applicant has an entire crew of reviewers. The problem with multiple reviewers is that each has their own perspective (“add a comma,” “don’t add a comma,” “put in a semicolon”) and each one could be right. There are hundreds of ways to write a grammatically correct, concise, accurate sentence in English. You can spend weeks listening to your reviewers argue over which way is best; or you can listen to me and start sending out your resume.
- I see that the job applicant is looking to the future but the resume is stuck in the past. The resume that was suitable when you were a new college graduate is not suitable when you are aiming to become supervisor or director or vice president of your company. You need to highlight the experience, skills, accomplishments, and knowledge you have that suits you for the job you want, not the job you are leaving behind.
Now let’s banish those scary resume moments and enjoy a Happy Halloween!