Do You Have a Really Bad Resume or is it Just Not Very Good?

really bad resume

I once wrote a resume that I felt could use a major overhaul and contacted the prospective job seeker to offer her a resume critique.

She politely wrote me back and said “I’m not interested at this time. If things change, I will let you know.” I wanted to scream!

I like to get new clients. From a business standpoint this was a disappointment; but this was not the reason I wanted to pull my hair out.

In this case, my frustration stemmed from the fact that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that every resume this job seeker sends out will be a wasted opportunity because she will not get ANY results.

Simply put, ‘she does not know what she does not know.’ This candidate sells multi-media advertising campaigns to the healthcare industry. At her salary level, the investment in a professional resume would really be a value.

Yet, time after time people make this same mistake. They go out job hunting with a resume that scarcely showcases their skills or competencies.

Examples of why this was a REALLY bad resume:

  • She had periods on the end of half her sentences, but not on the other half.
  • The resume showed 10 years of solid experience in sales yet the first thing she lists on her resume is her education.
  • She does not mention what she does in a headline or branding statement and she has no reference to her core skills.
  • All that appears is a vague bulleted list and then the education section.

Not only does she have 10 years of sales experience, but she is an award winner. Where are her awards mentioned? At the very bottom of the second page of her resume, following 25 bullets in a row!

She also put references with their phone numbers directly on her resume – always a no-no! Who knows in the world of the internet who might call these people out of the blue?

In addition to all of this, the overall aesthetic look of her resume is a D+ at best. It looks like a 7th grader did it. I know that is harsh, but I like to call it as I see it.

While I commend those who are able to create a resume as if they were a pro, the majority of people, no matter how good they are at what they do, are not professional resume writers. After all, would you fix your own transmission or cut your own hair unless you were trained in these areas?

President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career road maps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.