People Are Laughing At Your Resume

Technosailer, Aaron Brazell, Director of Technology at b5mediaDo you ever wonder what happens AFTER you send your resume in? Aaron Brazell wrote Your Resumé is Causing Hiring Companies to Laugh at You last week with some excellent points. He’s not a resume expert, he’s the guy on the other side of the desk laughing (or shaking his head) at resumes. Go check out what he thinks is just plain laughable…. his highlights are:

  • You Didn’t Read the Job Requisition
  • You Cite an MCSE as a Qualification
  • Your Resumé is Irrelevant
  • You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To
  • Your Resumé is longer than two pages and Is Filled with Fluff

intellectual property attorney Rand BatemanHow about making hiring managers laugh at you (or, the prospect of you actually getting hired)?? Rand Bateman, owner of an intellectual property firm based out of Salt Lake City, gives solid advice based on what he’s seen from all the people applying at his firm. In his post A few thoughts on looking for a job, Rand talks about each of these points:

  • What’s your objective?
  • Provide a letter
  • Keep your resume short
  • Have explanations for why you left previous employers
  • You only get one chance to make a first impression
  • Have some questions
  • Be informed
  • Sending a thank you note
  • Return the call

Both posts are worthy of your time – click here to see Aaron’s post and here to see Rand’s post.

Resumes and job search seem so easy. But there are definitely complexities in the process. I encourage you to get your resume out of the laughable pile – if you can’t do it on your own check out my partners. And then go get an account on JibberJobber and put your resumes and cover letters and letters of recommendation in there for safe storage. I burned my first week of the job search recreating a resume… do yours NOW and you can really be prepared as you go through your next job transition.

5 thoughts on “People Are Laughing At Your Resume”

  1. Jason, people who sit on the other side of the desk are probably the best source of constructive criticism. If all the jobseekers would check their personal networks to see who they knew that was in a hiring position, and check with that person for a quick critique first, where would be much less laughter in target company offices. -Carl

  2. A buddy of mine has worked as a hiring and recruiting manager for a while, and some of what he tells us at parties is unreal. We always ask him for more stories because they’re too funny.

    At the same time, it’s a little sad, too. Here’s hoping those people aren’t still looking with the same resume.


    PS I feel you on the resume recreation. That’s a real nuisance when you want to be focusing on other aspects of your job search.

  3. I have to say, I’ve reviewed a lot of resumes in my time, and simply couldn’t hold back the laughter at a number of them. One in particular jumped to mind as I read this post. I wont mention where, when, or who to shield the guilty party.

    This resume had a picture on the first page of this person, as they looked in a tux, on what was clearly a cruise liner.

    Now, to be quite honest, I can’t think of many good reasons to put a picture on your professional resume, and I can’t think of any reason it would be appropriate for a software engineer.

    Next, he had his title as “Senior Visual Basic Engineer”

    By the way, this was an application for a Java position. In fact, had the rest of this resume been glowing, this would have been enough to disqualify the person in question without even a second glance.

    Now, I believe that as a Senior Software Engineer you should be qualified to make technology decisions. Knowing how to find the right tool for the job. Understanding different architectures, frameworks, and languages even if you’re not versed in using them directly.

    Other than the *picture*, this was the first statement on this person’s resume, and it says “I think I’m highly skilled at this very specific thing, but I lack broader knowledge about other things, which I really should know by now because I’m using the title senior”

    Finally, Visual Basic is a tool for developing rapid and simple to medium complexity desktop applications. It’s not the tool to use for building frameworks, complex server side apps, and more enterprise-esque applications, and I would hope that by the time a software engineer feels they can add senior to their resume, that they would have developed a few of these things.

    At the end of this story:
    1) Know what you’re applying for. This person clearly didn’t, and it caused a chuckle
    2) Know what qualifications you have, and tune your resume to match. This person clearly didn’t, and it caused laughter.
    3) Know what statements, intentional and implied you’re making about yourself. This person clearly didn’t and it caused people to bust a gut laughing at this particular resume.

    Even years later, I remember these things about this resume; which is saying something, however I’m guessing that the person in question would rather I not remember the things about this resume that I do.

    What things on your resume will you be remembered for?

  4. Clint, your comment reminds me of “the” resume that I will never forget. The guy was a student and had about 18 programming languages on his resume. Or was it 12? I don’t remember, but it was a long list.

    Did he really know 12 languages? I’m sure he didn’t know the well enough to put them on his resume. At least, that was my impression.

    What was an otherwise stellar candidate with great referrals left me wondering if he put them just because he read an article about them, or did a report in school on each of them.

    It was enough of a red flag for me, though, and (a) I didn’t hire him, and (b) he is “the resume” that I always remember in discussions like this!

    I bet every hiring manager has a resume that they can’t forget!

  5. A resume that I will never forget but made me cry rather than laugh was one I got when I was a 27 year old hiring manager and got a resume from a guy who had been at the same job for 17 years supporting legacy applications and had then been laid off.

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