Resume writing 101


Here’s a good article on resume writing mistakes to avoid. Nothing earth shaking but a good list of tips to review before you start to write the resume.

Comments (12)

  1. Lauren Smith says:

    Regarding #3, this is definitely a cultural thing. Here in Japan, it is common (and necessary many times) to include age and a photo. While there are laws against discrimination, there is no easy way to litigate, so employers will require this information (along with martial status and number of kids).

    As for #6, if you can’t brag on your resume, where can you? How is "stating your accomplishments" different from "bragging"? Is it just in the tone?

    In #7, if we’ve been at this for 10 years (jeez, already??) how important is university information? Some places (Big-G) like to use datapoints like GPA to winnow their lists, but if I’ve excelled in my work in the time since I frittered away my college years, is a 3.0 GPA really that indicative of anything at this point?

    I had a problem with #8 on my Japanese resume. I apparently put that I had a Masters in Japanese Linguistics. Honest mistake, I just used the wrong word. Still, it came up in an interview…

    Are we getting to the point where software automation is going to do all the resume screening? Should we just toss out any information which is not 100% search engine hittable?

  2. Lauren Smith says:

    "marital status", of course. Though sometimes it just seems like martial status.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Lauren – it’s not really a search engine thing. I think the recommendations were in light of the fact that people are reviewing the resumes. Re: #6, the difference is the depth and the substance and what can be substantiated.

    Regarding GPA, you know my opinion. Ten years into your career, let’s hope you have somehting more interesting to talk about than GPA! Well, if you had my GPA, you’d certainly have many more intersting things to talk about!

  4. Alex says:

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Bad_Brad says:

    I held a job when I was just out of college (a tad over 10 years ago now) that I do not show on my resume today, as it is irrelevant to anything that I would apply for today.  Nevertheless, interviewers constantly ask about it.  That’s always blown me away.  When I’m interviewing a candidate, one of the last things I care about is "what was this guy/gal doing 10 years ago?"  I guess #7 (no outdated info) and #9 (no gaps in work history) can be contradictory, and evidently #9 trumps #7.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Well, I graduated from college more than ten years ago, but what I did was list "previous employment" and just put jobs and dates. That way, it’s there but it doens’t take up much space.

    I think we are linear and very into story-telling. SO interviewers really want to start with college and know what happened then scene by scene. I have to admit that I would probably ask you that too. You have to consider that they may be asking to get more info about who you are as a person (were you doing something interseting, did you make a major shift in career, etc.).

  7. Tim says:

    Had to laugh at the story about the woman with the 10-year gap in her resume caused by "killing her husband". True enough, there’s a job for everyone.

  8. tod hilton says:

    “One of the weirdest things that I ever saw on a résumé…was a candidate who explained a 10-year lapse in work experience as being in jail during those years for killing her husband”

    Yep, that would definitely be weird to see on a resume!

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Tim – I wonder how she said it….like "ho hum, killed my husband, that’s all" or did she stare down the interviewer and say it like a pirate?

    tod – many recruiters have stories about candidaes like that. I had a candidate like that too, but I’m not sharing the story (it was really troubling…along the lines of To Catch a Predator).

  10. Bad_Brad says:

    Yeah, I was kind of trying to imagine how that went down in the interview setting as well.  If I had that kind of a story to tell, I would play it up.  I would, you know, stare down the interviewer and maybe twitch just a little like a madman.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ooh, Brad, please tell me you  will do that someday just for fun!

  12. Heather says:

    Any ideas of how to approach a resume when you’re in the first job after college?