If there’s one thing we learned about resumes from the survey results we gleaned, it’s this: be simple, be honest, be relevant. That’s what recruiters expect.
But sometimes it’s best to learn from “negative examples." Recently, a placement director out of Texas forwarded us a resume they got for a receptionist opening.
Amazingly, it commits all of the major no-no’s as if that was their exact intent. In that sense, it's actually quite impressive.
Now, we don’t mean to pick on the types of jobs represented here. Although someone with a fast-food background and a bit of clerical experience might not be instant management material, the point is not to discredit the work itself. That said, there are too many problems with this resume to ignore. Let's go through them, shall we?
"But did you operate a drink-dispensing, milkshake, or frozen custard machine? There’s a great difference." said no recruiter ever. Those kinds of specifics are either implied by your job title or irrelevant.
“But what did you do between reading the food slip and placing the food item on the dish?” said no recruiter ever. The extreme subdivision of tasks is unnecessary. Instead of sounding fast-paced, 12 bullet-points of duties makes the jobs seem tedious, boring, and repetitive – as if the worker is just going through the motions.
“I know you can use a cash register, but can you compute bills using a pencil and paper?” said no recruiter ever. The day the cash register broke may have been hectic and memorable, but computing bills using a pencil and a pad of paper hasn't been a marketable skill since 1879.
“But aside from the customers and employees, who else did you communicate with?” said no recruiter ever. The candidate clearly wants to “cover all their bases,” but overuse of the word other (other individuals, other activities, other documents, other general cleaning duties) sounds generic and therefore the candidate comes across as generic.
“How exactly did you receive payment as a cashier? Are we talking cash, check, credit cards…?” said no recruiter ever. Why would a cashier know how to handle cash but not checks? It’s reasonable to assume they’ve encountered all forms of payment. Because a cashier doesn’t specialize.
“It says here you can type 70 words per minute. By the way, are you familiar with personal computers?” said no recruiter ever. This candidate actually manages to sound unfamiliar with the very devices they claim to know, because they bother mentioning they can operate a personal computer. This does a disservice to their skills.
“A Philabagger must be one who phils bags.” said no recruiter ever. Is it a cute internal company title? Is it a typo? Either way, the recruiter is going to have no idea what the job title means.