by: Chai Fonacier
Senior Contributor, CebuJobs.PH
Resumes reflect the personality of the applicant more than one can imagine. Recruiters have a sense of your workmanship based on the way you construct your resume, so a sloppy one could mean you have the tendency of doing the same to your work.
Having previously been in recruitment for a few years in one of the more reputable companies here in Cebu, I have encountered dozens of resumes that would make recruiters’ hairs stand on end.
Hey, forgive us – it’s all in a day’s work, and as recruiters we read resumes at least 50% of the whole working day. We’re humans with brains that generate comments like anyone else. So throw in every kind – objective, constructive, and even the funny ones.
But let’s put the funny ones into good use. We can have the best credentials but have the worst-looking resumes, so here are a few tips on how NOT to create your resume.
1. Here’s the Key Tip: Don’t do anything to distract the recruiter or HR personnel from going straight to your credentials, regardless of whether you’re submitting a printed or a soft copy. The faster they know what your strengths are, the better. Some recruiters sift through tons of resumes daily, so you’ll want to catch their attention quick. Using hard scented paper however, is only going to shock their noses. Your resume is not a wedding invitation. Different types of paper are appropriate for many different uses, but hard scented paper simply isn’t going to improve your chances at bagging a coveted position. At worst, it distracts the recruiter from getting into the juicier details – your C-R-E-D-E-N-T-I-A-L-S. That gets you the job, not the type of paper you use. So, use good quality bond paper, store it in a folder or an envelope, and make sure you don’t submit one that looks like your dog merrily chomped on it.
2. For walk-in applications: Unless you’re applying as a model, a TV broadcaster, or any position that calls for some physical requirements, do not place your photo except when your potential employer asks for it. Along with this, avoid placing details on where you were born, your height, your weight and your SSS number. These details are needed only upon hiring, not when you’re applying. Again, get the recruiter to read what you can do as fast as possible.
On the subject of photos: if you’re putting one in, please make sure it looks decent. I once had to stifle an incoming evil chuckle when I saw the 2 x 2 picture on a resume: applicant took it with a cam phone at a downward angle, much in the way that you take a photo at a party. I can tell she was in her room: her brassiere was hanging from the mirror behind her.
Yet another award-winning resume sported a whole photo of the applicant reclining. This was placed as an entire header. She thought she was Cleopatra. That was not nice. It made for good fodder for talk when lunch came. Throw in another badly cropped one that seemed to have come from a group photo – the guy left half of his friend’s face in his picture. Great, we had one and a half applicants.
Truly, your camera phone is a good quick, inexpensive option so long as you take your resume photo as you ought to: properly cropped, with a clean background, and with you wearing professional clothing. A photo can be worth a thousand words, and a good photo tells your potential employer that you have a professional outlook.
3. Now, for fonts. You should know that Comic Sans takes the no. 1 spot as the worst font ever — even its creator agrees, because this font was made solely for what it was named after. Also, fonts with a lot of nice embellishments, or cursive ones are great – only if you’re getting married. On resumes, it only makes the recruiters’ eyes go bonkers, you might as well go for Wingdings if that’s the case. Seriously though, fonts like these make your resume harder to read and visually distracting. Refer again to Key Tip in no. 1.