No One Cares About Your Resume, and Why You Should

Posted by Daniel in Advice, Gen-Y, Jobs, Life, networking, Planning, Uncategorized

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NEWSFLASH: No one cares about your resume.

What’s that you say? You’ve spent hours perfectly crafting every word in order to make yourself look fantastic on paper? You even read my advice on resume building? That’s very kind of you, but I repeat, no one cares, and here are 5 reasons why.

  • Resumes are boring. No one wants to read them, not even recruiters. It’s a chore that takes time, and realistically the last time you did read one (instead of glance at it) was when you were writing your own.
  • People are lying to protect your feelings. When was the last time you or someone you know told a friend you wouldn’t forward their resume on because it was crap? When was the last time you asked for resume advice and everyone told you it looked good? Friends think a lot of things, but very few friends will be brutally honest to help you, if no one is giving you constructive criticism try sending it to other people.
  • Your resume won’t get you a job. Do you really think someone is going to hire you based on a piece of paper?
  • You’re exaggerating. Everyone does it to a point, but did you really collaborate with the team on the $300 million dollar project, or did you just make copies for them? If by chance someone does read your resume, they are reading it with a skeptical eye and taking it with a grain of salt.
  • You are sending it into a black hole. Applying online? Unless you have a persons e-mail address not a generic recruiting address, it will most likely never be seen by  a human eye. Even if you are sending it to a real persons address, remember it’s a chore to open it and they probably don’t want to.

With all this said, it’s true, no one cares about your resume, but you should still care. As much as it kills me to say it, resumes are still very important, and here are 5 reasons why:

  • It’s not for other people, it’s for you. Your resume should be a running tally of every impressive thing you have done, and you should use it as a refresher to remind yourself of these things. It should be up to date whether you are job hunting or not, and when you accomplish something of note, write it down. You can always shorten your resume, it’s very hard to lengthen it. Know your resume backwards and forwards and be able to expand on everything on it without fumbling. Even know what doesn’t make the final cut, your resume will help you in the interview (but be careful to not only talk about what is on the resume).
  • It is currently the most accepted way to showcase yourself. We are fast approaching the days when someone will say “send me your link” instead of “send me your resume,” some early adopters have already started this with LinkedIn, however, for the time being the resume is still the most accepted way to showcase yourself.
  • Key words help you get a foot in the door. Remember that black hole I wrote about? There is a way out, and that is through key words. More often than not applying to a generic recruiting e-mail address will send your resume into a software program in which it will be looking for key words. If it matches the key words, then someone might look at your resume to see if you fit the bill and invite you in for an interview. So remember to use industry language. (Note: although this is my most hated form of applying for a job, I actually did get my current position this way. It never hurts, but don’t get your hopes up.)
  • Be true to yourself. A little embellishment is expected but always be true to yourself and NEVER lie on a resume. Lying on a resume is career suicide and it will come back to haunt you. It is better to not get the job by being honest, than to get it by lying. Just ask George O’Leary, former head coach at Notre Dame who was forced to resign because he lied on his resume.
  • It won’t make you, but it can break you. First impressions are important, and the resume is frequently someones first impression of you. While it may not make you, it can definitely break you, so in the off chance that someone actually looks at your resume, it needs to be easy to read and perfect. One misspelled word and you are through.

As Gen-Y becomes more of a staple in the work place I see a lot of this changing, particularly the accepted resume format. I believe we will transition to websites with professional bios being the standard (non-boring) way to showcase yourself. But in the meantime, I’ll continue my love/hate relationship with resumes.

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12 comments

  1. Matt

    “As Gen-Y becomes more of a staple in the work place I see a lot of this changing…” I think me and my people (re: Gen X) just got called old fuddy duddies… =)

  2. isabella mori

    as someone who has written and read over 1,000 resumes, i’d say that the #2 rule for a resume is that it needs to be written in a way that is NOT boring. #1 is make it easy on the eyes so that you actually WANT to read it.

    totally agree with you that the resume is very much a document for the writer. ideally, it should look and read so well that the writer can’t WAIT to hand it to someone (in person!) it can be a real ego-boosting tool.

  3. Ryan Stephens

    Honestly, I don’t even believe in resumes anymore. I suspect for some professions they’re necessary, but because of your first 5 points, I don’t even see a point.

    When people send them to me, I don’t read them. I really don’t. Take a chance. Send me a colorful venn diagram or something and I MIGHT take a peak. Otherwise, I put your name in Google and see if you’ve done anything interesting, wrote anything interesting, what kind of initiatives you’re taking to brand yourself.

    Again – I’m a little “newer” career-track than most with social tools/marketing/et al, but yeah that’s my $.02

  4. Daniel

    I completely agree. I will look at friends resumes, but other than that I don’t care. If I can’t find you in google (and I don’t mean your facebook page), you probably haven’t done anything interesting. You have to stand out, having your resume go into a pile of other white pages doesn’t make you stand out.

  5. 10 Biggest Resume Mistakes

    Whether important or not, doing a resume, and doing it well, is the primary start for any job seeker. At least it will help to focus and job effort by enhanced awareness of probable job offerings to shoot for, and to provide a launching point for interviews.

  6. MyOnlineCareerSpace

    A resume in combination of other accents like a video resume, testimonials and references, and photos can be powerful. There are many sites that offer this type of service to put it all online… and that is the ‘new’ resume.

  7. Joe

    Daniel….from your comment above…my future resume!
    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=“Joe+Wunderlick”

    Haha! It just might work!

  8. sham

    what do you say when someone says “send me your resume and i’ll look it over and forward it to HR”

    i don’t know whether to just say thanks for your help and i know there’s no guarantees, anything will do.

    i don’t know.

  9. Elizabeth Johnston

    Resumes only became customary after World War II, as a means for employers to eliminate unqualified candidates among scores of GIs looking for new jobs. Not much has changed. Nowadays, nearly every individual, starting a job search, begins by developing a resume, but decision makers only spend and average of ten seconds scanning them. A resume cannot do the heavy lifting in a job search. Its purpose is strictly to function, in conjunction with a follow-up call, as a marketing tool to initiate a conversation with the decision maker. Your goal should be to present your background and accomplishments in a visually appealing, reverse chronological order, with dates, succinctly and honestly. Stay away from functional resumes, extensive formatting and leaving dates off to hide age.

  10. Ryan @ Planting Dollars

    I agree with this post. After sending hundreds of resumes into black holes throughout my young budding career I’ve seen zip worth all the time and effort.

    It’s super annoying filling out each individual company’s form too. Nobody has the same format and everyone asks a bunch of questions which eliminate you from even getting looked at.

    Pointless.

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