As we approach the halfway mark of 2015, my colleagues shared the worst HR moments thus far. Here are some sample train wrecks with some corrective action if your own resume reflects these problems:
A candidate lists his college degree, high school diploma, middle school graduation, and elementary school credentials on his resume’s education section… While most organizations appreciate candidates with multiple degrees, they assume you graduated from the sixth grade. As you list your educational background, write honestly about your achievements beyond a high school graduation. Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees live on your degree with any additional certifications.
Under a five-year long job, someone writes three bullets to summarize their accomplishment. While recruiters admire brevity and humility, make sure that your resume outlines your professionalism completely. You do not want a HR professional to pass you over because an element of your resume fails to impress. Sometimes our writing falls short. No problem. Work with a colleague or friend who writes well. Center your resume on strong action verbs and rid it of any typos. Great resumes draw cool opportunities.
A contract employee submits her timecard more than one year after the deadline. At Marchon Partners, we pay employees on a bi-weekly basis. Candidates enter their time every week before 10a Monday morning manager’s approval deadline. Regardless of what system your administration uses, ensure that you meet deadlines. Nothing plagues finance departments more than outstanding timecards! You become the talk of the town when your name frequently appears on their s^*t list!
A job seeker describes his experience “saving a village from a poisonous snake” on his resume. While diverse, thrilling experiences that model something from an Indiana Jones movie certainly captured the attention of our team, reserve those experiences for later. Resumes should reflect your distinguishing, professional credentials. Stories like this make great answers to the dreaded question, “Could you tell me about a time you overcame a difficult problem?” Poisonous snakes present these kinds of problems. Impress people with your experience, not Rambo-like moments.
The worst-of-the-worst: shout out to person who includes drinking in the resume’s activities section. As a recent college graduate, my inner bro commends your boldness and capacity for adult sodas. Yet my newly-established professional side thinks to itself, “What the hell?” Please, if your resume reads like this, make a change! Find a new activity! Leave it blank! ‘Drinking’ welcomes a whole host of issues for the employer to consider before hiring you. Stop impeding your employability. Wake up from the hangover and rework your resume!
While we kid about the liars, cheats and hacks, our candidates deserve a word of thanks for their awesome client work. Helping clients build and implement new technologies isn’t easy and we’re grateful. Enjoy the laughs on this Monday morning and have a great week!
Timothy McGuirk serves as the Director of Marketing Communication at Marchon Partners. He studied public relations at Boston University’s College of Communication. Follow him on Twitter @mcguirkt and Intragram @timothymcguirk.