Submitted by wendii on
It's time for audience participation!
In a couple of weeks (planned for 26 September) we're going to release a podcast called "This Resume Stinks". The resume in question is here, and we're going to tell you all the things that are wrong with it.
Take a look at it so that you're ready for the podcast and if you like, you can post your thoughts below. We'll review them on air and address your comments as best we can.
We're excited to hear your thoughts!
Wendii's Sample Resume really does stink!
I cannot repeat the first words that came out of my mouth when I saw this resume: it's hideous! At first glance I wanted to stop immediately and not even consider its content as it was literally a visual assault. Swallowing my disgust I'll push on ...
The picture block is unnecessary on two fronts. Firstly assuming it would have a picture of Wendii in a real world situation, that may lead to preconceived biases on the part of the person(s) reviewing the resume (and we all have those biases whether we like them or not) so including it may not be helpful. As it doesn't have a picture at all but rather is a big W then why is it there at all? I know what W looks like but perhaps Wendii is a big fan of each letter in the alphabet and this is W's turn for recognition. Can I expect 25 more resumes from Wendii, each highlighting another letter of the alphabet? :)
The title block is a complete waste of space. I already know your first and last name so there is no need to repeat it and there is absolutely no need to label it with First Name and Last Name. It's actually an insult to my intelligence to think I cannot understand details such as naming conventions, what constitutes a postal address, phone number and email address so the labels are worse than a waste of space.
The Skills title is wasteful - I know the ugly red bubbles are your skills so you don't need to tell me that. As for the skills themselves - big deal. That tells me very little about your level of competence at any of these skills - perhaps you're telling me that you know how to spell each of them. They're also very very diverse and cover very specific technologies from a multitude of areas so I'm left thinking that while you may have had exposure to all of them you cannot have developed a truly deep understanding of any of them. Best to leave them out entirely. On the understanding that you'd be applying to a specific role one would hope the job description would list required skills so the applicant would have some/most of those in any case.
The Work Experience title is wasteful - it's a resume so I expect, no I demand to see a work experience history. Telling me that is what is next is another insult to my intelligence. As for the experience sections themselves there is very little substance. Ignoring the wordy descriptions of each role there is almost nothing to tell me the size and scope of each role and responsibility and absolutely nothing at all indicating what was actually achieved. For example Wendii was responsible for the the migration of more than 1 million mailboxes to the cloud but what did she actually do to achieve that as a program manager.
The second experience section has either a tense or spelling problem. The past tense of the verb lead is led. The use of "lead" just annoys me. If there were none of the other glaring problems with the resume I'd probably be prepared to forgive this and put it down to a language issue (as an expatriate Australian in Canada I'm always tripping over myself for spelling and other idiosyncratic grammar issues so I can empathise). However by now I'm just angry with the resume and the person behind it so I'm looking for any reason to say no.
The career arc concerns me. Early on in Wendii's career she was leading (another "led" vs "lead" challenge :) a team of engineers (no idea how many so we'll assume at least 1) at Cisco. Then she moved into a Technical Evangelist role, followed by Program Management and finally Solutions Architecture. It's all over the place and says to me that she's not really sure what she wants to do next or what she believes she is truly good at.
As with the other title blocks, the Education title is wasteful. I know a University is an educational institution. Same with the Certifications title.
All in all this was a painful read. Congratulations, when it comes to resume stinkage you've nailed it!
Some good, some bad, and a lot of Purple!
At first glance, I was a bit taken aback by the purple and red, but there are some elements that I liked more as I went along. The iconography is something I was tepid on at first, but liked more and more as I went through.
So, from top to bottom:
Wendii's Sample Resume
We have a saying in Texas that comes to mind when I see all the "sparkle" on this resume... "Useless as two buggies in a one horse town!"
The labeling of first name, last name, address, phone, and email are not necessary. Moreover, and with all due respect to #43, the big "Dubya" is pointless.
The acreage wasted on the left hand margin, the numbering instead of bullet points, and the MASSIVE "SKILLS" section were all terrible decisions.
The kiss of death on this resume was the focus on RESPONSIBILITIES rather than accomplishments.
The fact is, this resume would work because companies need people. However, when compared to a resume that focuses on accomplishments rather than color schemes and duties/responsibilities, this example is about as effective as pushing a wheelbarrow with rope handles!
Michael G Cox
A Sales Recruiter
I agree on numerous inefficiencies highlighted in previous comments, such as wasted space and lack of accomplishments over responsibilities being listed. When I really think about this resume and vetting it through our hiring system, I'm confident after reviewing this that one of our recruiters would at least put this candidate through a prescreen (keywords on her resume may be flagged through our search tools, for example). She would then have a chance, assuming she answered the questions well, to move on to our pretesting and then to an in-person interview, ultimately, leading to an offer. I bring up our process to highlight the fact that we don't use the resume as a heavily weighted criteria in deciding whether or not this candidate is the right fit for the role. I specifically, if interviewing, would base my decision on how well the candidate has demonstrated the skills I'm looking for.
Re: My Thoughts...
Granted there were some good points to the content in the resume. However if you take the MT guidance that the resume is there to help you get the interview, the sample resume should be viewed against the many other resumes that you as the recruiter or hiring manager would receive. When compared with the others, this resume may not encourage you to schedule an interview which is valuable time for the hiring manager. If it's the only resume you receive then maybe the resume itself is a reason to say no.
I agree with many of the points previously raised and won't repeat most of them.
This is fun, because Wendy and Mark helped me a lot when I needed a review of my resume 11 years and a week ago....
What is wrong?
Thirteen looks like an appropriate number of comments on this Friday the Thirteenth.
Very curious what else comes up in the cast!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts everyone! We are reading them avidly as they come in!
Wendii and Mark.
I'm curious how many issues
I'm curious how many issues will be "ah, you found it!", vs "oh, we didn't think of that!", vs "actually we think that's okay / doesn't matter". But I imagine I'll just have to wait for the podcast. :)
Thanks everyone! We are planning to record tomorrow, so you'll soon find out!
The First Part Is Up!
The first part of the cast is up: https://www.manager-tools.com/2019/10/resume-stinks-part-1
In which Mark and I review your comments :-)
The first part of the cast is up: https://www.manager-tools.com/2019/10/ 8 ball pool resume-stinks-part-1
In which Mark and I review your comments :-)
Thank you I will give it a look
sample of a good resume
My resume has a summary at the top. Is that a good thing ? Is there a sample of a good resume
Example and guidance
There is an example as a document accompanying the original resume cast, in the Hall-of-Fame: https://www.manager-tools.com/2005/10/your-resume-stinks
There is no need for a summary.
I have learned a lot
I have learned a lot regarding a good resume. Thanks for the insights!