Stop Giving Bad Resume Advice!


Here we are in 2014, a full decade into the new millennium and there are still some recruiters, job coaches and hiring authorities giving terribly bad resume advice. I guess I must say this, there are many who give great advice for job searching in the age of technology and social media, but there are those that just haven’t gotten the memo.

I want you to pass THIS “memo” along to anyone who has given you some crappy resume advice; hopefully they will stop the madness.

The first is to stop advising job seekers that they should a resume for every job they apply for.

Here’s why that’s dumb. According the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2011 the average time it took to find a job was 21 weeks. There are various reports that it’s currently anywhere from 12 – 16 weeks of job searching before you find a job.

Most job coaches advise job seekers to search for 3-4 hours per day, and they should apply to 12 jobs per week. (The math is already getting confusing) So 12 weeks, and 12 jobs per week, equals 144 jobs; should job seekers should have 144 resumes? How about half that, 72? Or, how about 36 resumes?

Let’s say you DO have a resume for every job, what do you do when someone calls you for an interview or a conversation? You probably won’t know which resume they are looking at. Maybe you emailed it, maybe they found it on a job board.

Here are some more reasons why that’s bad resume advice and need to stop now! Most people are only good at one or two things, MAXIMUM! Sure you are capable of many things but REALLY good; good enough to be paid well – only 1 or 2 things. So you don’t need more than 2 traditional resumes.

I must also mention, it’s a total pain for us resume writers to fix multiple resumes, because no one tells you upfront that they have eleventyfive resumes (yes I wrote “eleventyfive”, it’s called the number dump(thank you Modern Family)).

The next piece of bad resume advice that I wish people would stop giving and requesting, is job information from the early 1990’s – or beyond. I’ve had clients tell me that someone told them that they need to have older jobs on their resumes…why?

We don’t do too much the same as 20 years ago and for the most part, we are a “what have you done for me lately society.”  Technology, market trends, consumer trends, management styles, and even education has changed so why ask for job history more than 10 – 12 years, 15 years, MAX!

If someone tells you to put jobs from the early 90’s, or 80’s on your resume, hang up the phone, or walk away. That’s not the kind of company you want to work for anyway –the only exceptions are government employers and public schools, they want your life story.

So if you are getting some bad or suspect resume advice, share this article with them and tell them to stop it now…right now!

-Join the Resume Crusade, contact ‘[email protected]