Resume 101: 10 Reasons Why I Wouldn’t Hire You

One of my clients needs to hire a part-time office assistant. I know my client and the office dynamic, so I’m managing the process for them. We want someone who is resumesmart, dependable, familiar with MS apps and understands customer service. I put an ad on CraigsList and within 15 minutes was barraged with nearly 20 resumes; by the end of the day, I had more than 200 resumes to wade through and they’re still dribbling in.

Definitely time for a glass of wine and triage. Some trends and observations:

  1. Sadly, the economy has not bounced back as much as we might have hoped. People with Masters degrees were applying for a low-level, parttime job. I love smart people, but overqualified candidates leave as soon as they find a better job. Not interested.
  2. Did you even read the job description? One applicant’s latest experience was at Honey Bunny Daycare where she spent the bulk of her days changing diapers.
  3. 25-year olds haven’t lived or worked long enough to have 3-page resumes. Remember that it’s a lot harder to write a little than a lot.
  4. Kids today are terrible writers. Sentences need a subject and a verb. Rules dictate punctuation—not your moods or whims.
  5. Kids today list the most insignificant of skills, stopping just short of documenting the changing of toilet paper rolls.
  6. A greeting to a stranger you’re trying to impress shouldn’t begin with “Hey, there!”
  7. Loved this one: “Hi—I know I’m overqualified, but call me if you can’t find anyone else.”
  8. Attaching your cover letter and resume as separate files so I have to download twice tells me you don’t have any common sense.
  9. If you write three paragraphs explaining that a resume is attached, you need to learn to edit. Busy professionals want their messaging in the simplest language possible—a single sentence works just fine.
  10. If you’re trying to look professional, you should reconsider an email address that reads

Happily, there are a few resumes that fit my requirements—people with good experience who sound eager to work with us–because that may be the most important requirement of all.

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