Friday, February 26, 2010

How NOT to Write a Resume

A Resume is really a way to market yourself. So like any good company you should highlight your strengths, list your accomplishments as well as provide a features benefit statement. I get the fact that some people are to early in their career to have much to market from an employee perspective. If this is the case, get yourself out there and volunteer, do something that is going to differentiate your resume and get you an interview.

Perspective employers read between the lines. Without work experience, they are looking for candidates that take leadership roles, create their own opportunities, take on unpaid internships to gain experience - Something that demonstrates work ethic, attitude and the desire to carve out career. BTW, stay away from ethnic or religious volunteer work. Fact of life, though no one will admit it, but it could work against you.

The reason I write this blog is because a young person sent in this resume and at first I thought it was a joke. They actually put that they had a non weighted GPA of 2.0 and ranked 132 out of a class size of 153. They publicize the fact that they finished in the bottom 15% of their graduating class. Now really, who proofed this resume for them and thought that announcing that you are a C student and did not fare well academically was worth putting on a resume. How was this going to help them get hired?

Find yourself a mentor, a good one, who knows about business or whatever you want to get into, and ask them for guidance. If you want to be in business, don’t let some high school or university career councilor be your only advice. Get a second or third opinion. I see more bad advice coming from out of touch career councilors and well meaning family members than anything. AND DON’T TAKE POLITICAL SCIENCE JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT. It offers NO career advantage when employers are looking at your CV. If I had a nickel for every resume I looked at for PoliSci students who had no desire to be in politics or to be a civil servant, I could retire. I have a pet peeve about people who spend 3 or 4 years in post secondary education and thousands of dollars and have no interest in their course of study beyond school. What does that say about you? I’ll tell you, you just pissed away 4 years and are qualified for a donut hole.

I will stop my Wasted major at University tirade and let you look at the CV. There are so many ways to improve this resume – remember, embellishing or omitting details is not lying :)

All the best,


Resume Response

Dear Susan Corcoran,

Below is a resume response to your job ad.

Education: High School Weighted GPA: 2.23
Rank:132 Non-Weighted GPA:2.0
Class Size: 153

Extra Curricular Activities: Position: Year:
Soccer Defense 9th
Forward 9th
Middle Back 9th
Foods/Nutrition 9th
Spanish I 9th
Spanish II H 10th
Spanish III H 11th
Spanish IV H 12th
Accounting I 10th
Beginning Piano 11th
Weight Training 11th
Computer Apps II 12th
Math of Personal Finance 12th

Awards and Honors:
Student of the Month 9th

Work Experience:
Stocker Travel Plaza Summer 2005
Summer 2006
Wait Staff 2007-2008