Resume Critique: What NOT to Do

This resume (pictured at the bottom of this post) is flawed in a number of different ways. While it can be identified as an Experiential resume, it lacks many of the core components. There is no objective at all, which denies the employer the crucial “reader-centered” element of the resume. An employer would only understand what Jennifer has to offer in a very broad and general sense. The resume is not at all tailored to whatever position she is attempting to apply to, and it is nearly impossible to figure out with the resume alone what sort of job she is trying to apply for.

Jennifer lists “School” at the beginning, which makes more sense for a recent graduate or college student, but the high school section is slightly longer than the college section. This should be the other way around. She could have included more specifics about her college experience, such as relevant courses or special products. While she does list “Thesis on Consumer Spending Patterns”, that is the only information provided.

Jennifer’s “Work” section is organized so that the reader sees her oldest work experience first. Since her current job and more recent jobs are more professional and assuming they are more relevant to whatever position she is applying for, she should have listed them starting with most recent. The descriptions of her past jobs should highlight qualities that are desirable to the employer. If she took note of that and wrote the descriptions based on the job she was applying to, it might be easier to tell what she is applying to (since she does not have an objective and there is no other information), but the descriptions are all of a different nature.

The format itself is not quality material. The font is unprofessional and strange for a resume. It is a short resume, and one could say that it is “to the point” almost to a fault. It is not detailed enough, and her writing style could flow more smoothly. Her verbs are more weak than strong (examples: “helped” and “started”). Jennifer’s references are “available on request”, but if she was truly serious about the position, she would have made them easily accessible for the employer.

This resume contains the basic outline of a resume, but lacks any content that would make it exceptional. It is not reader-centered or even focused on the job that Jennifer is applying to. It is vague and extremely general. By taking a step back and thinking more about the employer’s needs, Jennifer could create a resume that highlights the skills she possesses that are relatable to the job. She could emphasize that she would require minimum training and highlight that she is responsible, personable, independent, etc. From the resume she has now, it is unlikely that she would make it past an initial resume screening.



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