Is Your Resume Obscene?

by - m on 06/03/2011

I usually leave the rants to folks who are way better at it. The wonderfully sardonic Laurie RuettimannErika Napoletano. and Alison Gianotto are my favorites. 


Sometimes however I need to get some things off my chest. For instance…


…Please. I am begging you. Fix your resume. To wit:

  • Summary and/or objective statements should be brief and contain a limited number of adjectives or adverbs. (We assume you are passionate, creative, and synergized). 
  • Don’t use words like “synergized.” (As my thesaurus states so succinctly, “Some words don’t work. Synergy is one of them.”)
  • Proofread and correct mistakes. Better yet, ask someone else to proofread your resume. (Don’t rely on Spellcheck).
  • Misspell my name. Go directly to trash.
  • Misspell your name. Go directly to jail. (This actually happened).
  • It’s a business document. (Rethink using email addresses like “partyanimaldude@email.com” or “2drunk2see@email.com”).
  • We know we can ask for your references. (“References upon request” is superfluous).
  • Unless you are seeking an acting or modeling gig, no pictures. (I’m sure there are other appropriate instances, but in general, don’t).
  • Speaking of pictures, remove overly cute and/or embarrassing pictures from Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other sites. (Recruiters will ‘Google’ you).
You have no excuse to submit a bad resume. There are numerous online resources available to you. 


Contrary to popular belief, whether a resume is “good” or “bad” is not subjective. A bad resume is like obscenity. 

I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it. 

– m

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