5 Resume and Application No-No’s

Back by request, here’s another Practical Tactical Thursday! (aka – resume, interviewing, getting a job action items, hints, and please don’t you dares).

  • Length of your resume if you have worked for five years or less, your resume MUST remain with a one page resume. I will not read the second page and I’ll think you’re way too self-important. Keep it short – at five years of work experience (in the real world) and under, you’re still a newbie, so please do not feel the need to include every single thing you’ve ever done at a job. If you have worked for more than five years, cap it off at two pages. With rare exception (technical fields for instance), at two pages you either have my interest or you have lost it – if I am interested in what you did 15 years ago, I will be sure to capture that we when speak. I don’t need to review five pages to get a good grasp of your expertise.


  • Test how your resume looks to others. I’m sure that you created a beautiful document… except, when I see it, it’s a hot mess. Make sure that you test your resume file in different browsers and opening modes. I tend to see the most mistakes with Word documents – the easiest solution, and preferred by me, is to always use a pdf document. The biggest blunders in Word have come courtesy of… opening it on a Mac; using Google docs to view; spacebar view (Mac); Windings font in Word. About 90% of the time, I’ll view the resume in a preview form – spacebar or Google Docs, to see if it’s worth opening fully. Be sure that you see how your ressy’s being seen, before you start applying.


  • I can track you – ok, maybe not stalker-esque, but I can see all of the positions that you have applied to at our company. When you apply to everything that we have open, or two very different jobs, you’re not going to be high-up on either list. I’m confused – do you want to marketing or sales? IT or HR? You are not an expert at everything, so please only apply to the ONE job that you really want. If it’s a larger company, be sure to stick within similar job descriptions/titles/departments. You not only lose your credibility by applying to everything, you also look… lazy and desperate.


  • Have a reminded you about first impressions yet? Oh right, I did – apparently there are a few more needed tips… If you are sick, if you lost your voice, if you’re at the doctor’s office, please reschedule your interview. Honestly people – I literally had someone try to do a phone interview when he sounded like he was on his death bed. He couldn’t hear my questions, he clearly was napping when I called during our scheduled time, he was so drugged up on Nyquil, that he literally couldn’t think to answer a question. I asked him several times if he wanted to reschedule (hint: that’s a sign to say yes), he didn’t… needless to say he didn’t make it to the next round, but perhaps he could have been a perfect fit. Who knows. Please don’t waste my time when you’re feeling blue, we all have been there and feel your pain. Nine times out of ten, it won’t be an issue at all.


  • Don’t call me, I’ll call you. HONESTLY. I am getting hundreds of resumes at once for each position, with several positions open at the same time. I am looking at resumes and weeding through them – if I’m interested, if you meet the qualifications, if you forgot to attach your resume and I think you may be a fit, and so on, I will reach out to you. I received your resume – email works. I got it. By calling me (ahem, and interrupting my resume search), guess what – you have raised my attention to your name, but you’ve also moved yourself over to the no pile. I don’t need to hear from you personally to ensure that a) I’ve received your resume; b) remember you; c) hear you explain why you are qualified for the position. If you’re the best person for the job, if you’re the most qualified person for the job, include that information ON YOU RESUME. And above all – follow the instructions on the posting. We have a “no calls will be accepted” policy, and people still call – guess what, you just eliminated yourself because I’m looking for detail-oriented people. Put the phone down!