So, today I received a note from a vendor I work with frequently. She was helping a friend circulate her resume. “If you have a need for an administrative professional,” she wrote, “I would appreciate you giving this person your consideration.”
The resume was full of bullet points, and they weren’t formatted so that second lines indented with the first. Some were, but not all of them. There were headers for each section, and most of them were in all capital letters, but one was not. They all had a shaded bar over them…except one. Words were randomly capitalized. Two different fonts were used, and not for effect. Dates of employment were featured on the same line as the names of the companies, but they were neither right-margin aligned nor all evenly tabbed.
So I wrote her back and I told her, “If I were reviewing this resume and it did not come through an applicant hiring system (because, less face it, formatting is out the window in an applicant hiring system), I would not call her for an interview.” I pointed out the problems I saw and suggested that, if this was a friend, that she tell her to fix these issues before sending it out elsewhere.
When, say, an IT person sends out a resume, formatting and random capitalization issues would probably not be noticed. I mean, who cares if he can format a resume, we want him to be able to write code, right? But when mistakes and sloppiness abound in the administrative professional’s resume, that candidate is showing the hiring manager that she can’t do the job she’s being considered for. I mean, if your admin can’t format bullet points, who in the office can? It’s as important that your resume is pretty as it is full of good and concise employment information.
I received a note back that this particular candidate was facing some personal problems and hadn’t had the time or the tools to correct the resume. I was not impressed with that response and, in fact, took exactly four minutes of my time to line up those bullet points, correct those randomly capitalized nouns, fix the fonts, line up the dates of employment, make ALL the headers all caps and put a shaded bar over the one that was lacking it. Then, I made a PDF of it and sent it back to my friend, suggesting that she not circulate the bad one any further.
So, this candidate had two strikes against her before I even finished reading the resume because (1) she showed no attention to detail, and (2) she showed poor judgment in sending out something that was so riddled with mistakes. Don’t be this candidate. Your resume should show quality work as well as quality job time. If it doesn’t, you’re losing an opportunity and turning off hiring managers.
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