Does Your Résumé Piss Off Hiring Managers?


Welcome to the Résumé Teardown! In this installment, we’ll be looking at a real résumé from an applicant we’ve nicknamed “Pro Grammer.”

The critique here is offered by Mike Feineman, who is lead developer at Boulder, Colorado-based social media agency Room 214. Mike would like to make it known that he approaches the hiring process from a very “start-uppy” perspective and his opinions may differ from those of a recruiter at a more traditional company.

Click on the images to enlarge and read all Mike’s hilarious comments.


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Today’s lesson: Objectives are not super useful, unless you make them so. If you feel like you must include one (and according to Mike you certainly don’t have to feel that way), just be sure that it is very specific and relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Also! Don’t use a ton of tiny text and make the recruiter hunt around for the good stuff. Choose the most important things to focus on, and use a font size that does not require a microscope. It’s important for you to edit and focus on your most relevant experience, AND recruiters will love you for it.

Homework time! Check out the “Objectives” section of your résumé. First of all, could it be eliminated? Second, if you feel compelled to keep it, rewrite it to make sure it is clear, free from jargon, and relevant to the position/industry.


5 Responses to “Does Your Résumé Piss Off Hiring Managers?”

  1. Ivy Lea

    I’m really curious – what do you think about a “Summary of Qualifications” section where you directly state your skills and interests? I’ve heard from career counselors and many others that it could be useful, but are objectives in general just taking up unnecessary space?

    • Melissa Suzuno

      Hi Ivy, thanks for stopping by! This is a great question and I don’t think there’s one correct answer. Based on the résumé teardowns that we’ve done on this blog, each recruiter or hiring manager has his/her own preferences when it comes to résumé formatting. But in general, they tend to dislike anything that can be viewed as “fluff.” Instead of including a Summary of Qualifications, I’d just make sure that all the most important bits of information are really easy to find. If you’re a current student or recent grad, that would include your school, major, and graduation date plus any work/internship experience or any hard skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions!

      • Ivy Lea

        Thank you very much for the detailed response! I’d like to ask two more questions if you don’t mind:

        1) For recent graduates, do you recommend putting the education section at the front if it doesn’t directly relate to the career field? For example, I am a double major in Economics & Religious Studies, and while that’s helped me in terms of collecting data/writing/presenting, its not directly related to a career in social media. So I don’t know if it would be best to put it at the front as many social media jobs request Marketing/Communications/English majors.

        2) How do mo

        • Ivy Lea

          I apologize, my other comment got cut off.

          2) How do most hiring managers on AfterCollege feel about including GPAs on a resume? I’ve heard a few career books mention that you should list related accomplishments instead, as focusing on your GPA makes it seem as though you’re still stuck in an academic mentality. That goes against what I’ve heard from most career counselors, but it may be that the overall perception is changing towards college/grades and that’s why. But I wanted to ask another source first before I start doing so.

          Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

          • Melissa Suzuno

            Hi Ivy,

            These are both great questions. Both of these will probably come down to the preferences of specific hiring managers, but this is what managers at AfterCollege had to say: If your GPA is solid (and your school has a good academic reputation), definitely include it. On the other hand, if your school has a reputation as a party school or your GPA isn’t great, it’s probably best to highlight your other skills instead.

            As far as deciding how to display your education and relevant experience, you might want to experiment with a few different formats and see if you get any better response with résumés that highlight relevant experience vs. ones that highlight your education. (Experimenting is also a big part of social media, so consider it great preparation for when you get your job, too!)

            Finally, because you’re applying for social media positions, you’ll definitely want to highlight your own blog. One manager here said that you should be sure to make that its own bullet point, and if you’ve been able to do anything to boost your readership or subscriptions, you should absolutely mention that as well.

            Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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