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How NOT to write a resume...I am not kidding!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by crow01, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. crow01


    Sep 1, 2008
    For those of you in the workforce...I had a gig in the HR department and learned all the horrible mistakes that job seekers make.

    Let's call all the job seekers "Jo", and let's call HR..."HR". (By the way "Jo", applies for both men and women)

    Jo: Doesn't send a cover letter
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Cover letter is addressed to a different company
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Apply to more than 1 position at the same time. (You can see all the CC to other postings, companies, etc)
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Sends resume attached, but there is nothing in the body of the email
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Doesn't attach the resume. Instead copy/pastes the resume in the email body
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Sends resume attachment in a format different than word or pdf
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: In the body of the email talks about a different job position that they never listed.
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Uses slang in the email body
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Misspelled words in the email body
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: His/her email address is funky, like "partygoer@msn or hot4daddy@msn"
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: The name on his/her email says "Jo Jones" and the email body is signed by "Mary Jackson"
    HR: Deletes the email

    Ok up to here HR has "filtered" (deleted) like 20 emails without even opening an attachment.

    Now let's look at the ones that at least took their time to:

    - Write a cover letter addressed to the right company. Checked spelling, normal size font, etc
    - Write something in the email body, at least 1 paragraph.
    - Attached a resume in word or pdf type
    - Email is not funky.

    Ok, a word of advice about the email. If your email is something like "metalhead@yahoo", forget it. Open a new email and put in your name there, like "jojones@yahoo".

    Let's move on...

    Jo: Cover letter says he/she wants $80,000 when posting clearly says $50,000
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Her/his resume doesn't have contact information. Only name, no email or address
    HR: "What the ...?" (Hits delete)

    Jo: Resume only shows the positions but there are no names of the companies he/she worked at.
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Resume is a mess
    HR: Thinks they never wrote a resume, or they don't know how to use Word. Deletes email.

    Jo: Resume doesn't match the job description at all.
    HR: Deletes the email
    (Let me give you an example. A position for "sales" and someone that worked at blockbuster or the supermarket applies. I know job seekers are desperate. But HR people are not)

    Jo: School/College not listed anywhere
    HR: Deletes the email

    Jo: Lists every software in existence
    HR: Think he/she is a genius or they just copy/pasted this from somewhere. HR calls and starts asking questions about that software.

    Jo: Lists hobbies, like they are in a band or they like techno music
    HR: Puts this resume at the bottom of the pile

    Jo: Changed jobs every couple of months
    HR: Puts resume at the bottom or just deletes the email

    Jo: A lot of gaps in his/her career. For example worked until 2004 and then again in 2009.
    HR: Thinks he/she should have explained in the cover letter and puts it in the "gap" pile. Think of it as the middle of the whole pile.

    Jo: He/she puts "Objectives" at the top of the resume that don't make sense. Like "applying for an accountant position", when the position is for sales
    HR: Deletes the email.

    In conclusion

    Like they say it's a buyerÂ’s a market, because there are too many houses to choose. There seems to be also an HR's market, as there are too many people looking for a job.

    But then that means you have to put your stuff together and make a good first impression, resume, cover letter, email. It only takes one finger and one key, to delete your email.
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Great post. All common sense, but sometimes people need to check themselves. Now that I think about it. My email address my need to be looked at. It might offend some Christians.
  3. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Good stuff to know ^^^ TFS

    The boss actually called me in once, just to snicker over this one cover letter he got.

    (I did this, I did that, I can do this, I can do that, bla bla bla, etc...) "... so if you're smart you'll hire me for this job."

    He might have even misspelt the word "you're". If he didn't, he might as well have. If we're smart??? ROTFL!!!

    He's basically saying: if this application isn't totally knocking your socks off, it must be 'cuz your stoopid.

    If you're trying to get the job for real... definitely don't do that!! :p
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    We had one young female applicant do all the right things initially when applying for a receptionist job at a professional office. She will be first point of contact for our clients who visit or call the office, so the successful applicant must be polite and reasonably well spoken. She blew it when during a phone call she actually said this:-

    "Just remember folks, you can't go wrong if you hire a Wong!"

    Ok she was probably only joking but if she says things like that to a perspective employer, what the hell sort of wise cracks is she going to make to clients?
  5. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I've got a million of these stories. My fav of this week- Someone resending me a resume who no called, no showed for an interview. In her cover letter she says, "Thank you for your interest in me i wont be a disappointment."

  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I used to do recruitment interviews and some of these were hilarious - like the guy who whispered to me - I got caught stealing a few tyres the other day - it won't go against me will it!!??

    Or the guy who turned up in his tennis gear, sweating from the court - great planning skills!! :p
  7. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Writing an effective cover letter and a resume I think may be one of the most difficult things to do. If you listen to too much outside advice, you get paralyzed over every last minute detail and end up sounding sterile and boring, you NEED to have some of who you are come out in it.
    Granted, that everything in the OP is absolutely true, but for instance in Petebass's post:
    "Just remember folks, you can't go wrong if you hire a Wong!", I can see why she may have said that - she may have been trying to set herself apart from the 20/30/40/100 other applicants.
    Because in addition to the bunch that the OP deletes every day, I imagine that there are also many many that are well written and nearly perfect, and then what sets them apart from each other?
    How do you as the applicant, knowing that there are potentially hundreds of other applicants, many with more experience and such, set yourself apart and get noticed in a positive way? This, especially in this present environment where so many are now unemployed and job-hunting?
  8. I agree with most of it, other than this part. I think personal interests can be worthwhile in a CV if:

    A) They aren't plastered at the front.
    B) Aren't just listed for the sake of listing them (and arent taking up masses of space).

    You can usually use them to elaborate in part on your character etc., gives more of an indication as to who you are, and can be good at supporting your claims about being this that or the next thing in the personal statement-ish part. But inclusion of a section like that would be more dependant on the job area etc.
  9. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    Are cover letters that vital? The last few jobs I've had, I don't think I've sent in a cover letter, because I applied through either Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com. I know a resume has to be pristine, but IME, in the internet age, a cover letter doesn't carry the weight it once did.
  10. It depends on what you are going for, a covering letter is usually pretty helpful in letting you lay down some specifics regarding that job.
  11. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    I read this and all i could think was...
  12. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    Funny interview story...
    I was in the lobby of one office when a rather attractive blonde women comes in. Mid-20's, maybe. Dressed in an expensive-looking skirt, etc.
    She said she was here for a job interview. During a bit of small talk, she said that she had been out on interviews all day & she was glad this was the last one.
    After she left, the guy sitting across from speaks up & says...

    "Did anyone else notice her knees were dirty?"

  13. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    We once had someone interview a position similar to my own who literally wrote the book for the software I use 70% of the day...and they couldn't pass our test.
  14. bass player 48

    bass player 48

    Nov 17, 2008
    Sorry - I couldn't read the original post... It just doesn't compute. I've been at the same job so long I can't even imagine the process of applying for a job via email. Is this really how people do it now?
  15. Even worse then dealing with individual resumes is dealing with recruiters. In my experience the majority of them are horrible. They will change a person's resume, try and send employees on jobs they aren't qualified for, etc. I am usually hiring for tech positions, and like most employers prefer to do a phone screen first prior to having someone come in.

    I've had recruiters try and tell me they don't allow this, and that I should just have the person come in. It's amazing I have a few smaller recruiters I deal with, but otherwise I prefer to hire base on recommendations. It's a small world :)

    As frustrating as recruiters can be employers, they can really ruin a candidates changes of getting a job. If you are going for a job, be careful who you have sending your resume around.

  16. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I admit there are some terrible recruiters out there, but on the whole, dealing with candidates in general is far worse. There wouldn't be so many staffing companies out there if this weren't true. Sounds like your company just needs to be more selective on which recruiters they choose to work with.
  17. I'm in NYC, so there are lots. For the most part as a hiring manager I could use who I wanted as long as I negotiated the fee up front of course. The problem was weeding through all the garbage, and even the ones you don't use still call and try and send people over. There is just a certain sleaze factor to a lot of them :).

    There are a few that I use, and have across jobs. They just tend to be the smaller boutique shops.

  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yessir, I've had more people than you can imagine ask me to email me a resume instead of handing them a paper copy. Or some prefer to have both.

    Easier to store, search, print as many copies as needed. And a lot of places can copy and paste stuff into a database to search for keywords.

    Crazy stuff these days.
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yep! For the most part it's email, though we still receive some by mail and by fax as well. The method of delivery isn't important IMO, it's the contents of the resume that counts. And to be honest the resume only gets you an interview. The interview(s) make up 95% of the decision over who to hire. So by all means get your resume as good as it can be, but don't forget to practice your interview technique as well.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I imagine most people nowadays don't bother with applying for jobs - they expect to be head-hunted due to the quality of their MySpace,Facebook* page!! :p

    {*Insert latest thing - like Bebo etc.}

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