Every so often I like to celebrate Halloween by reviewing some resume nightmares. This time, let’s focus on the resume monsters who lurk within us all (cue Phantom of the Opera music).
Take the Verb Vampire. This is the guy who leaves every verb in the present tense for a job that he last held 10 years ago. The Verb Vampire forgets that updating a resume means more than just adding his latest position; he has to go back and make sure the old information is consistent with the new information—and in the past tense.
The Preposition Poisoner will pile up noun after noun and adjective after adjective, rather than use a preposition for clarity. Instead of saying “Investigated self-reported effectiveness of alternative treatment strategies,” the Preposition Poisoner says “Investigated self-reported alternative treatment strategy effectiveness.” She forgets that hiring managers and recruiters expect job applicants to make their accomplishments clear.
The Invisible Applicant has a superb resume—except for the contact information. He transposes the digits on his phone number; uses different email addresses on page 1 and page 2; and gives a return address with a 6-digit zip code. He wonders why no one has called to offer an interview; they simply cannot find him.
The Much-Too-Frankenstein presents a professional resume and cover letter. But her posts on social media indicate a tendency to argue, nitpick, complain, and blame others for every situation. No one wants to hire someone whose social media presence screams “potential problem.”
Finally, the Resume Mummy holds tight to old concepts of resumes. He wants to add an objective instead of a summary. He wants a section on health, hobbies, and marital status that is irrelevant to the job and potentially illegal. He refuses to go over one page even though that means important achievements will be left out. His resume is a clear sign that he does not understand the present job market or the expectations of employers.