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2012-366 Day 116 – Resume Advice

This may or may not have something to do with what I’ve been doing all day at work. Okay, it has everything to do with what I’ve been doing all day at work. I’m reviewing the applications for a position that we’re hiring here, and I need to get some stuff off my chest. Advice will, of course, be kept generic to avoid incriminating the guilty. And there are soooo many guilty.

1. Customize your resume – For heaven’s sake, I’m pretty sure I just read the same resume photocopied a bunch of times. Excepting for minor differences in applications that they know, you get the idea of what a standard IT worker does pretty quickly. Reading it over and over again just gets mind numbing. Do something to make it stand out and make sure you customize your resume to the position being offered, hi-lighting the relevant experience and emphasizing the abilities your thing will suit what the employer is looking for, especially if they list a specific skill . . .

2. Bring up the right skills – If, for example, the position lists OCR as a primary technology that you will be working with, and does so with a nearly ridiculous frequency in the job posting, consider mentioning any experience you might have in the field on your resume. Heck, just put the words on there somewhere and go play with a scanner. Want to guess the grand total number of references to OCR technology I encountered over the entire run of resumes? That’s right, one. And that person got disqualified due to distance considerations.

Now there are other things that are knocking people out of the running here that I can’t fault them for trying (out of the area, too many degrees or too high a previous salary for an entry level position), especially in this economy. But for those that are in the running, making these errors is just inexcusable. I get the feeling that everyone pretty much said, “Oh look, it says IT in the title, they must be looking for a desktop support person,” without ever taking a glance at the description.

Oh, and lest you think I’m kidding, I went back and counted the number of times “OCR” showed up in the position description. Take a quick guess before you hit the end of this line. Ready? 1, 2, 3: 7 times in 6 sentences.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. 2012-366 Day 128 – Interview Advice – Only Two People Blog linked to this post on May 7, 2012

    […] this is a follow up to my Resume Advice post from a couple weeks ago, as we conducted the interviews attached to the resumes we reviewed. […]

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