Creative LeadershipEngaging CultureStrategy & Marketing

Is Your Resume Helping You or Hurting You?

Recently, I received a resume from an experienced media producer looking for a job. The resume was designed well, and he had a long job history. At the top of the resume was his “Objective,” which read:

“Seeking a challenging position utilizing my experience in order to contribute to the growth and profit of the organization. To demonstrate organizational and project management skills in fast-paced, team minded work force.”

I don’t know about you, but I have no clue what that means. In his effort to make his resume sound ‘official,’ he forgot one big thing: Clarity. All I wanted to know was what he was best at doing and what his career objective might be. But I was clueless. When it comes to resumes, advertising and marketing agency owner Mark Dreistadt says, “Too often, resumes are vague in order to cast the widest net. But it would be far more effective to tailor that objective to the particular need of the organization you’re applying to. And ultimately, vague lines are meaningless. Bottom line? Don’t be meaningless, be memorable.”

I couldn’t agree more. Just tell me what you’re amazing at doing, where you’ve worked in the past, and what your new goals are today. It’s all about simplicity and clarity. Stop trying to impress with jargon. As Mark says, “Don’t be meaningless, be memorable.”


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  1. I had been in management for only a few days when I had to hire someone for the first time. I was stunned — stunned! — to see resumes with spelling errors and other grammatical mistakes.

  2. My pet peeve is when a resume lists what someone was ‘responsible’ for. “Responsible for coordinating daily blah blah blah”. That, to me, is dumb. Don’t tell me what you were responsible for. Tell me what you accomplished. For example — a web guru shouldn’t say they were “responsible” for updating the corporate website. They should say something like “doubled # of unique visitors”… why aren’t schools teaching this???

  3. One of my pet peeves whenever I interview someone (or read their CV) is if they say they work well as an individual or as part of a team. So many people say it and it communicates nothing at all.

  4. What is your take on infographic resumes? Also, what is your take on a potential employee who also shows positive personal fiscal responsibility? Do you see it as too much info, or do you view it as, “if he can control his own money, he will be able to control my (business) money?”

    1. I think it’s all about the job you’re applying for. I don’t care so much about financial expertise if I’m hiring a writer or graphic designer. But if it’s a manager, then it would help to know.

  5. I think most of us are into the habit of forwarding a CV. When we should be tailoring certain fields depending on where we are applying. Cover letter is a good way but a ‘memorable’ CV is better.

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