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The Pitfalls of a Poorly Constructed Resume

Posted On11/27/2015

ContributorShirin Miller

Are you constantly sending out your resume only to get irrelevant responses or no responses at all? Then now is the time to reevaluate your resume strategy!
 
The biggest pitfall of resume writing is to merely state your past responsibilities and job history. You don’t want the hiring manager to work at determining what you have to offer them and what you have accomplished. You need to sell your accomplishments and work experience. Another common error that job seekers make on their resume is to make it too ‘me’ focused:
 
More Pitfalls…

  • Legible Font. You want to make sure that all the information is legible. Don’t detract from what you have to offer by highlighting your name and/or contact information with a special font.
  • Objective versus profile. Notice how the sample below provides a general objective without offering anything for the hiring manager. A profile is a way to convey what you have to offer a potential employer, not what you want from them.
  • Don’t just list responsibilities. Most hiring managers know what the average duties are for a given position and don’t need a job description from you.
  • Provide quantitative and qualitative data wherever possible. While the content can be similar for both a “good” and “bad” resume, it’s the lack of measurable (i.e. quantifiable and qualifiable) data provided that distinguishes the two.
  • Order of information. This applicant graduated over five years ago, yet leads with her education. In general you shouldn’t place your education before your experience if you’re not a recent graduate, have an advanced degree, and/or want to work within education.
  • Leave off the personal information. The need for including hobbies has long since past. Employers want to know what professional organizations you are a member of, what publications you have written, what professional awards you have won, etc.

Compare the example below with a ‘good’ resume to see how to better convey what you have to offer a potential employer.
 
‘Bad’ Resume Sample

\Tricia Graenemon
123 Anywhere Lane • Two Ville, CA 95423
777-555-3333 • tgraenemon@email.com

 
Objective
To get a challenging job as a Customer Service Manager so that I can learn more and excel in my career.
 
Education
1999 – B.A. with a major in Communications and a minor in Spanish, University of California, Two Ville, California; GPA 3.6; President of Spanish Club in 1998
 
Experience
 
Green Clothiers of Northern California, Two Ville, CA
Customer Service Manager • 5/23/2003 – Present
• Recruited, trained and managed 15-member team
• Ensured continuous delivery of outstanding customer service
• Redesigned, developed and implemented employee training program which increased sales revenues
• Assisted customers when and where needed
 
Fine Sports Wear International, Two Ville, CA
Customer Service Manager • 3/2/2001 – 5/13/2003
• Recruited, trained and managed 35-member team
• Ensured continuous delivery of outstanding customer service
• Designed, developed and implemented employee training program which increased sales revenues
• Assisted customers when and where needed
• Exceeded annual goals in key metrics including profit, sales, employee retention and customer service
 
Customer Service Representative • 7/12/1997 – 2/29/2003
• Assisted with customer sales of women’s and children’s sportswear
• Awarded Salesperson of the Year in 1999 and 2002 for exceeding set sales productivity
• Trained 14 new representatives functioning as lead trainer, providing ongoing guidance and constructive feedback
• Achieved lowest returns percentage than all other coworkers
 
Hobbies
Skiing, hiking, cooking, Karate, playing with my two cats and shopping!