April 6, 2006: The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California, details Resumes from Hell and offers some Southern Californian perspective on bad resume strategies.
By Carla Wheeler, The Press-Enterprise
A bartender looks for a new place to serve drinks because she wants to get as far away as possible from someone who was once near and dear. "Due to issues with my x-husband, it is time for me too move on," she wrote.
A bodyguard wants work that "keeps me busy but at the same time, let's me keep having a good time like I always have."
A sales manager boasts that he "consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts."
"People mistake a resume for a life story," said Tom Thetford, who owns Power Resumes and Career Counseling in Riverside. "They want to tell about their hobbies and pets and plants and travel. Those are cute, but give me a couple of qualifications to make me go, `This person does exactly what I need. I will call them.'"
Avoid rambling on a resume; answer questions in the interview rather than droning on paper about things that could bore or turn off an employer, says Reed.
"Most employers are going to spend 15 seconds looking at resume before they are going to go onto the next resume," says Williams from UCR's Career Center. "By adding all that stuff, you may be burying the important information. "
A resume should be a positive rather than negative calling card, according to Williams.
"There was this TV show called `Dragnet' where they said, `Just give me the facts,'" says Williams, recalling the 1960s police show starring Jack Webb. "A resume should just give the facts. The resume's only purpose is to get you an interview. The resume does not get you the job, but it can keep you from getting the job."
Receiving a resume littered with spelling errors bothers Don Limacher, who owns Maxmarket Solutions in Corona. "It says a lot about a person," he said, adding that the mistakes might indicate problems down the road.
For instance? "Sloppy, poor attention to detail and possibly uneducated."
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When writing a resume, always:
USE PROPER grammar.
WRITE ONLY one to two pages in most cases, saving superfluous information for a later date.
NEVER LIE. Employers can run professional background checks or Google you.
USE A WEB address that sounds more upstanding than email@example.com and
LINKING A resume to a personal Web page or myspace.com that contains party or other questionable photos or information of a personal nature can be professional suicide.
READ THE resume over carefully before mailing or hitting the e-mail send button.
SOURCES: RANDY WILLIAMS FROM UCR'S CAREER CENTER; TOM THETFORD OF POWER RESUMES AND CAREER COUNSELING IN RIVERSIDE; DON LIMACHER, OWNER OF MAXMARKET SOLUTIONS IN CORONA; NANCY GILMORE OF MANPOWER INC.; AND JON REED, CO-AUTHOR OF "RESUMES FROM HELL."
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When writing a resume, never:
EMPHASIZE poor test scores, failed tests or incomplete projects.
PUT DOWN former employers, calling them "scum."
LIST DEAD people (or your mother) as references.
INCLUDE THE address of every place you've lived since birth.
REFER TO yourself as a "nameless plebe."
CONDEMN managers who failed to see the "beauty" of your creative designs.
DESCRIBE yourself as "towering" over your non-Mensa co-workers.
LIST YOUR hobbies, especially if they include "an active social life."
PROFESS YOUR love of Jesus Christ, Buddha or other religious figures.
DESCRIBE A past job experience as "orgasmic."