In this line of work, I get to see lots and lots of resumes. Occasionally I'll see one that's so outstanding it would make a hiring manager weep tears of joy.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the ones that are just … baffling. (Dwight Schrute's resume would fall into the baffling category.)
The resume writer strings together a lot of professional-sounding words, but fails to differentiate her/himself from any other Pat or Chris or Jamie on the street. The resume may seem impressive at first, but then you realize it's not really saying anything. It's like a restaurant that puts on a big fanfare, only to serve you an empty plate.
Want to see what I mean? Below is a professional looking, typo-free resume that does zero, zilch, nada to define the applicant's unique value. It could be describing you, me, or the guy sitting three rows behind you.
123 Main Street
Springfield, US 12345
A challenging position in a dynamic, growth-oriented organization where creativity and innovation can contribute to the bottom line
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
- Experienced professional with broad-based skills developed through education and on-the-job training
- Energetic team player who is equally effective working independently
- Proven record of meeting deadlines and staying within budget
- Outstanding ability to respond to internal or external customer requests
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
- Strong Microsoft Word and other computer skills
September 2005 - Present
Acme Inc., Springfield, US
- Perform administrative duties in support of upper management
- Assist with all aspects of department operations
- Keep organized records of project status
- Communicate with customers
- Fill in for absent employees
August 2003 - August 2005
Jones and Sons, Springfield, US
- Completed daily and weekly tasks assigned by direct supervisor
- Collaborated on complex projects
- Discovered ways to streamline inefficient processes
- Acquired greater industry-specific knowledge over time
2003 Springfield High School, Springfield, US
OK, I think that's enough to make my point.
This resume may look OK at first glance, but there's no context. It's all generic fluff. The words could have been written by anyone from a bookkeeper to a beekeeper. Exactly what job is this person qualified for? In what field? Manufacturing? Retail? Dry cleaning? Investment banking? Food service? Lifeguarding? We have no idea!
An effective, interview-worthy resume makes it easy for hiring managers to understand where you've worked, what you can do, and how your unique experiences and talents apply to their specific needs.
If your resume looks anything like this useless, generic sample, you'd better adjust your cap and settle in for a looooong job hunt.
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