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Stupid Usability #10

Resumes - Don't Embarrass Yourself

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 12/12/2013

From the mind of Joel Baglien, VP of Business Growth at High Monkey:

I have read a lot of resumes - thousands of them. Most of them were good enough, some were really good, and many were downright embarrassing (for the person wanting to be hired). There are some obvious and not so obvious stupid usability things I've seen people do with their resumes that put them on a fast track to the recycle bin.

  1. Accuracy - Have you ever tried to call a person to set up a phone interview and found they put a wrong phone number on their resume? It's not a common mistake but it does happen.
  2. Eye Strain - Some job applicants think crazy fonts get them noticed. Uh . . . no! At best it's irritating when I try to read it (not usable), at worst I don't bother giving the resume a first look.
  3. Be Succinct - I don't care if you have a college education. Keep your sentences short and to the point and don't use 50-cent words when 5-cents will do the job. Write in a way that is thoughtful and usable for me - the person deciding if you deserve an interview.
  4. Be Professional - Get yourself a boring GMAIL account and use it on your resume. Don't use your cute email address on your resume - EVER! I don't care if you are "" or some type of stud or geek or sexy something. I don't want to know.
  5. Be Professional Redux - Clean up your online presence. Yes, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and other social media show me how you represent yourself to the rest of the world. Your photos of your Cancun trip and drunk dancing until you hit the floor are not going to impress me.
  6. Be Relevant - I don't want to see work experience on your resume about your summer job cutting lawns - unless it was your own business and you managed all your customer relationships and finances. I will want to see that you had an internship but only if you tell me how it relates to your career and job interests. Relevance and good usability are intertwined.
  7. I Don't Care - Everyone has hobbies - that's great. I don't care and don't want to know about them - don't put them on your resume. The only exception is if your hobby is relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are applying to be a mechanical engineer and your hobby is designing hot rods - that's relevant AND cool. (see #6)
  8. TMI - I don't want to know your religion, your marital status, or your social security number. Period.
  9. Format Matters - When you email or upload your resume for a job, make it a PDF. If your potential employer can't view a PDF, you should run the other way.

Stupid usability for resumes and applying for jobs has a lot of pitfalls that you can avoid. If you struggle with some of suggestions in this blog post, ask a friend who is articulate and knows how to write if they will critique your resume. It may cost you a couple of beers - just don't go posting photos of that online (see #5). Avoiding stupid usability when finding a job is really simple - be clear, be relevant, be professional, and make it easy for me to want to talk to you. The more thoughtful you are in making your resume usable, the more I will like you and maybe want to hire you.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 12/12/2013 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments