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A Bad Resume is an Emergency if You Want a Job

A Bad Resume is an Emergency if You Want a Job

Without proper training, would you install your own security system, change the brakes on your family vehicle, or suture a loved one’s serious injury? Of course not. You know that you don’t have the training or qualifications to complete these life-or-death tasks effectively.

When security and safety are at stake, we seek professional help. Other times, we are tempted to cut corners. Many of us have become avid do-it-yourselfers, and this is certainly true for resume writing. Why spend money to hire a pro when you can download a template or write your own? Well, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t. Here are just a few examples of frequently seen errors on homegrown resumes:

  • You look cookie-cutter. It may seem like an easy way to update your resume, but resumes developed from templates are a dime a dozen. They get lost in the shuffle. On the other hand, a resume professional can create a design that helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • Your age is showing. Whether the issue is that you could be seen as too old or too young, it’s not good if prospective employers are judging you based on your age. A talented resume expert knows how to showcase your talents and downplay any age-related issues.
  • Bad choice for resume length. In the resume world, size matters. If your resume reads like an epic novel or there is barely enough information to make a hiring decision, your resume’s length could be holding you back. A resume writer will carefully consider your career history and goals and determine the best length for your resume.
  • Red flags. I don’t know anyone who has a perfect work history. Maybe you’ve had a string of short-term jobs, making you look like a “job hopper.” On the other hand, perhaps you have been at the same job for many years and it looks like your career has stagnated. You could appear overqualified or under-qualified. Instead of grappling with challenging issues, trust a resume writer to minimize the potential red flags for you.

I see many self-developed resumes before clients start the resume development process. The difference between the old and the new resume is night and day. And if you’re not a ResumePower client, you could be competing with one of our clients. Is your resume ready to compete in this tough job market?

The bottom line? Resume writing is easily delegated to a DIY task, but it’s not recommended if you want to find a job. You could be passed over for the perfect position or forced to accept a lower salary than you deserve.

To your success,
Art Hickman,


    A bad video resume is even worse. Make sure when you use video resume services like you make it sound clean.

  • Lovely post. Resume is the main tool for job selection. It should be best & contain real information. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Good advice art. On I think on your point about looking cookie cutter there are some new platforms for resumes like that could help people build online resumes that stand out.

  • Definitely, some very valuable points. Picking the correct length for a resume is of course one of the major concerns when it comes to grabbing the attention of the employer. The resume should never be too long or too short. Thanks for sharing what makes a resume really bad or unimpressive.

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  • I work in recruitment and I’ve found that depending on the type of job applied for the quality of CV differs greatly. My years of experience don’t really reveal any surprises though, Creative jobs generally have more creative interesting to read content. I’ve recruited maths teachers in the past and some of the CV’s I’ve had to read have been very very clear cut and analytical. Out of the above list resume length is probably the most unified factor that ties the CV’s together, the majority I seem to get are two or three pages max.

  • Eloffett206

    Great post! Reminds me of a webinar from Ivy Exec on resumes:
    In this day and age, where thousands of jobs receive applicants, even before your resume can stand up to the above challenges, it is a miracle if you can get past the first stage screening from simple keyword searches alone.

  • Anne Weber

    For a detailed guide into what recruiter’s look for in their initial screening of a resume, read executive search expert, Fred Clayton’s blog post:

    Your resume has only five seconds to make a first impression!

    And to learn what recruiter’s look for in an in-depth assessment of a resume, read part 2:
    What’s next after you pass the five-second resume screening?

  • Pingback: A Bad Resume is an Emergency if You Want a Job – My Career Growth()

  • Kristi Piearcy

    For what it is worth, I’ve been told that a good way to get the attention in that first 5 seconds is to list relevant work history first. Having been on the hiring side, I would agree that there is some truth to that.