Reading resumes: a marketer's take on resume marketing mistakes

resumes.jpgI am surfacing from under a pile of resumes.

I'm not complaining, because I appreciate how fortunate Catalogs.com is to be in hiring mode. We are actually trying to fill three positions. Lots of business owners are still feeling the crunch of the still-sluggish economy.

Running a full-out effort to find candidates can dominate my already over-scheduled day. I really like the challenge of finding the right person for the position, and there is no shortage of people looking for work.

I'm glad to have a surplus of resumes to review, but still ... I'm shaking my head. And not because of the amount of work that it takes to review resumes, screen applicants, interview and negotiate.

Is it me? There seems to be more in the latest piles of resumes that confuses me than enlightens me about these job seekers.

If I can't scan and comprehend a resume in less than a minute, I usually move on. But I was so surprised by these candidates' marketing gaffs that I had to stop ... Who are you targeting, dear job seeker?

I actually let some resumes divert my attention from the task of screening just for some intellectual relief.

Take these resume marketing mistakes, for example, all of which sent me to Google to do a little research:

ZAR - the "zar" is used in South Africa ... and I'm hiring in Florida ...

Master's in Museology - the "diachronic study of museums" which I didn't know existed and which sounds interesting, but not applicable

Six Sigma Green Belt - if you are not familiar with this - like I was not - visit this site ... sounds intimidating

emr/ehr - general note: using acronyms will lose eyeballs. And "emr" (emergency medical records?) and "ehr" (electronic health records?) don't apply at all to our business

Pet photos - printing a portrait of yourself with your cat on your resume isn't a good idea

Coffee stains - I appreciate a clean resume as much as I don't want to know what anyone had for breakfast


My advice to anyone submitting a resume: make certain that it is reader-friendly. Don't use jargon, irrelevant degrees without explanation and foreign currencies.

My advice to anyone reading resumes: if the job seeker doesn't make the effort to tailor their resume so that it is relevant to your company and appropriate to the job opening, move on. Quickly.

It might seem brutal, but when you see the size of the resume pile you will amass, every screening tool will keep you sane.

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