5 Résumé Fails (And How to Fix Them)


Some people argue that it’s dead, or very close to being dead. Some people stand firmly by its importance. But chances are, if you’re applying for jobs, you’re going to need one, so let’s just make sure that yours doesn’t suck. What are we talking about? But of course, the résumé.

We get it—it’s hard to write a résumé when you don’t have much work experience. You don’t know what employers are looking for and you don’t have a ton of stuff to put on there.

We’ve taken a few examples of real-life résumés and gotten hiring managers to take a look at them, and we’ve learned some valuable lessons from this. Check out the links below for the complete résumé teardowns.

Lesson 1: Less is More Overachiever “Ivana Job” stuffed her résumé with clubs, associations, and accomplishments, but she just ended up hurting the hiring manager’s eyes.

Lesson 2: Don’t Forget Formatting Creative “Job Seeker” used an interesting format, but the experienced recruiter, Brian Corey, said he’d toss it in favor of something more standard. Bonus! Brian provided a sample résumé and cover letter that would put an applicant in his good graces.

Lesson 3: Mistakes are Deal-Breakers This one is short, but painful. When looking at this résumé from “Jane Jobs,” senior recruiter Melanie Graff spotted an error right away and automatically disqualified this applicant.

Lesson 4: Show Me the Links! In his résumé and cover letter for a web development position, “Dev Elleper” got on lead developer Mike Feineman’s bad side by neglecting to include any links of his work. Even if you’re not applying for a web developer position, think about how you can demonstrate your accomplishments in a meaningful and tangible way.

Lesson 5: You Know You’re Creative, But Do Employers? “Sasha May-Dea” was looking for a social media manager job, but her standard formatting bored agency director Ben Castelli. Read his critique and learn how to add a little creativity to your presentation without overdoing it.

Want more? Check out all the content under our “Résumé Teardown” tag.

Bonus! If you’re more of a visual learner, check out these infographics to help with your résumé revamp.

“Crafting a Perfect Modern Résumé” from Colorado Technical University

“12 College Experiences Your Résumé Needs” from Boundless

“The Truth About Lying on Résumés” from Accu Screen, Inc., ADP, and The Society of Human Resource Managers


3 Responses to “5 Résumé Fails (And How to Fix Them)”

  1. Deborah Jacobs-Levine

    Great tips for folks entering or re-entering the job market, or wanting to re-brand themselves!


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