HR folks, weigh in on the tips in this article

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

Yahoo posts a lot of articles about job hunting, and much of it is repetitive and useless. This one about resumes caught my attention. If you have HR experience, please weigh in on these tips if you think they're legit or way off the mark:

10 THINGS TO LEAVE OFF YOUR RESUME
By Alison Green

What you don't include on your resume can be as important as what you do include. Here are 10 things you should leave off:

1. An objective. Resume objectives never help and often hurt. Not only do they feel outdated at this point, but they're all about what you want, rather than what this stage of the hiring process is all about--what the employer wants. Your resume should be about showing your experience, skills, and accomplishments. If you want to talk about how this particular position is the perfect next step in your career, use the cover letter for that.

2. Short-term jobs. Short-term jobs raise red flags for hiring managers, who will wonder if you were fired, couldn't do the work, or had trouble getting along with co-workers. Plus, a few months on a job won't typically be useful in showing any real accomplishments or advancement anyway.

One exception to this rule is if the job was short-term because it was designed that way, like contract work or, say, working on a political campaign. Those won't raise the sorts of questions above, because you'll have an explanation that doesn't reflect on you poorly.

3. A functional format. Functional resumes (which list skills and abilities without including a chronological job history) are widely hated by employers, since they easily mask limited work experience or significant work gaps and make it difficult to understand a candidate's career progression. For most hiring managers, these resumes are an immediate red flag that you might be hiding something.

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

4. Your photo. Unless you're applying for a job as a model or actor, photos of yourself have no place on your resume. Since your appearance has nothing to do with your ability to do the job, including a photo comes across as naive and unprofessional.

5. A fancy design. Here's what most hiring managers think when we see a resume with unusual design or use of color: Does this candidate think that their skills and achievements won't speak for themselves? Do they not understand what employers are looking for? Do they put an inappropriate emphasis on appearances over substance? (The obvious exception to this rule is if you're applying for design jobs.)

6. Subjective descriptions. Your resume is for experience and accomplishments only. It's not the place for subjective traits, like "great leadership skills" or "creative innovator." Smart employers ignore anything subjective that applicants write about themselves because so many people's self-assessments are wildly inaccurate, so your resume should stick to objective facts.

7. Any mention of high school. If you're more than a few years past your high school graduation date, employers don't care which high school you attended or how accomplished you were there. Keep any mention of high school off your resume.

8. Extra pages. If you're in your 20s, your resume should only be one page; there's not enough experience to justify a second one. If you're older, two pages are fine, but you go over that limit at your own peril. Hiring managers may spend only 20 or 30 seconds on your application initially, so extra pages are either ignored or they dilute the impact of the others. Your resume should be for highlights, not extensive detail.

9. Your salary. Resumes don't typically include a salary history, so candidates who include it come across as naive. And by sharing that information unbidden, you'll also compromise your negotiating power later.

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

10. Any mention of references, including the statement: "references are available upon request." You don't need to say that you'll provide references if asked, because that goes without saying. You're not causing any harm by including that now somewhat-dated statement, but it takes up space you could use for something else.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

I agree. 1. Most Objective Statements are stupid and have been done to death. Use a Summary of Qualifications. 2. Short term jobs can label you a job hopper. 3. Functional resumes are used by people who were incarcerated. Companies hate them. You are hiding something or you were a SAHM for the past 5 years. 4. Photo? Only if you are applying to Hooters. 5. Fancy design? Your mother's resume -er, with the matching envelopes. 6. Good with people? Yeah, who isn't. They want quantifiables now. 10. Reference available upon request. Translation, I have not written a resume in a very long time.

The resume is starting to go the way of the telephone booth and the VCR. Many companies either don't accept them anymore or don't read them, if they were accompanied by an online app.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Michele in San Antonio, Texas said:
9. Your salary. Resumes don't typically include a salary history, so candidates who include it come across as naive. And by sharing that information unbidden, you'll also compromise your negotiating power later.

You are reading an old library book. Companies want to know your price tag up front now and they shop for price just like you do. If you see "Resumes submitted without salary history will not be considered", in a posting, they mean it. It goes right in the trash. This is a much different job market now.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

In a good economy, I can basically understand that short term positions can be seen as job hopping, though there may be legit reasons to "move along". One reason might be pay. If a company simply refuses to compensate the employee adequately, it may be time to move to a company that has better pay and benefits.

In an economy such as the one we have now, I don't understand how, after being laid off numerous times, a person should be seen as a job hopper. How many companies have been forced to downsize or simply close their doors over the past few years? How can that possibly be construed as job hopping?

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

This could be why I seem screwed either way. I had one job for 3 years, 07-10. Then 18 months of unemployment. Then 2-3 months of seasonal retail. Then a month of unemployment. Now going on 5 months of merchandising. I'm sure that this looks only slightly better to potential employers than just 2.5 years of unemployment, if it looks better at all.

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

I got rid of an objective statement long ago. Now it's a skill summary, or "pitch-line." I don't have any references to mention, so that's easy. My current resume is 2 pages, but I'm 32 and frankly, my old job experience is more impressive than my latest, so I have to get it in there.

People still mention their high schools? I've *never* seen or heard about a resume that had the person's high school on it, unless they were 19.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: In a good economy, I can basically understand that short term positions can be seen as job hopping, though there may be legit reasons to "move along". One reason might be pay. If a company simply refuses to compensate the employee adequately, it may be time to move to a company that has better pay and benefits.

That is legit. I am talking about those jobs that only lasted a few weeks or a few months. Big gap = bad. Too many jobs = bad.

The problem that I have encounteed is that many people have NOT been affected by The Great Recession and don't read the newspapers.

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

^ that is nonsense for HRs, though. They should all be able to see the hundreds of applications coming in for even the most menial position they have, and put 2 and 2 together. The HR that "doesn't know" how hard it is out there must be an ostrich, because his head is in the sand.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts said: I got rid of an objective statement long ago. Now it's a skill summary, or "pitch-line."

Most Objective Statements sound pretty lame. Pitch lines are better.

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

How would a "pitch line" be formatted? The trendy title sounds lame to me...

What do you do, have a catchy sentence about your self at the top, with on heading?

A skill summary should be included in a resume regardless, with or without an objective.

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

Skill summary is the same thing as a pitch line...

My current one (which also opens me up to criticism, not necessarily a bad thing) =D

PROFILE

• 10+ years sales/customer service experience, highly adaptable.

• Master's degree focus ideal for project management/leadership roles.

• 2 years admin experience with a state university. MS Office proficient.

• Dedicated and dependable. Never missed a scheduled shift.

Reading it back to myself, it sounds kinda hokey. =/ But I'm trying to give them what they want....dedication, Office experience, over a decade's worth of sales/service, and by the way I'm fairly smart too.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

A pitch line is a Summary of Qualification statement.

Here is what they don't want: Seeking a challenging, rewarding position with a company where my skills and abilities can contribute to the blah, blah, blah.

Ain't nobody reading that s**t anymore.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

24 months ago

I always feel that the descriptions people have of their jobs are BS. They tend to use words such as: dynamic, improved, increased, proactive, developed, etc. Nobody ever talks like this in conversation. Nobody is this perfect. It's garbage put together to look better than it actually is. I'm not referring to you, Nick.

Employers can do whatever they want. A gap is bad. Short-term jobs are bad. Staying too long at a job is bad. What they would seem to like is a person who works about three years at each job and then moves along.

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Joe Gagill in Loch Sheldrake, New York

24 months ago

Ok the experts have weighed in.

Now how about any HR folks out there???

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

The HR folks are probably too scared to post an answer (even anonymously) for fear of being sued.........

Perhaps one or two will prove me wrong :)

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

They key words every one uses are silly. Yet... do companies still use key word searches looking for those silly and meaningless terms?

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: The HR folks are probably too scared to post an answer (even anonymously) for fear of being sued.........

Perhaps one or two will prove me wrong :)

Er, I think all the HR people are in the breakroom eating donuts and making their grocery lists out of your resume. They have jobs.

Yup, only us lazy, shiftless, unemployed people here now. So like I was saying.... Ha!

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

I hope they are using disappearing ink so they forget the items before they get to the store :)

Tell you what though, the past few days I have been hiding in the a/c. Outside for more than a couple minutes, it feels like I am going to either melt or spontaneously combust (or maybe both at the same time)

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

I'm spending today and much of tomorrow planning my escape route outta here, myself. In A/C, of course. It's a wonder that this 10 yo unit still works.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: Tell you what though, the past few days I have been hiding in the a/c. Outside for more than a couple minutes, it feels like I am going to either melt or spontaneously combust (or maybe both at the same time)

No jogging today? Me neither. Just sitting here fat, dumb and happy in the A/C.

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HRpro in Lenexa, Kansas

24 months ago

I work in HR and here's how I handle things. When a job posting is posted on the company website and applicants start applying, I scan through EVERY application/resume that is submitted. I even check the rejection bin, because I know the computer system sometimes reject really good potential employees. I phone all the people i'm interested in and go over their application and let them explain any gaps or short term employment. If i get a good vibe from the person, then I will have them come in for a face to face interview.
I do not care for the thank you letters after the interview, most of the time my boss throws them away. My boss gets a little upset that I look at all application but so far all the people I hired are still here at the company. Hope this sheds a little light for everyone, I know not all HR personnel are like me, but I like to hire the right person the first time, so I go above and beyond to make it happen.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

Thank you for the response HRpro. It would be nice if all HR folks would perform due diligence.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: No jogging today? Me neither. Just sitting here fat, dumb and happy in the A/C.

Are you trying to imply that getting myself out of bed Isn't exorcise?! (my mommy doesn't buy it either)

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: Are you trying to imply that getting myself out of bed Isn't exorcise?! (my mommy doesn't buy it either)

Yeah, your mommy, while she is making you a sandwich is probably thinking, "Getta a job, ya bum!".

That's what my Dad use to say to me.

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

Well thanks, HR Pro. I hate to say, but you seem to be in the minority. Especially in big cities, it seems like the resume pile gets cut like a deck of cards, and half of them aren't even seen by anybody no matter how qualified they might be.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Yeah, your mommy, while she is making you a sandwich is probably thinking, "Getta a job, ya bum!".

That's what my Dad use to say to me.

Now and again I wonder what it would be like to live in a tent in the middle of nowhere. Then I think of the a/c, heat, tv, computer, ya know, "the necessities" and think better of that real quick.

Thankfully, my folks stay well informed and know about the lack of a job market. Also thankfully, my folks are in Florida, I'm in Maryland...... I love them, living with them would drive all of us NUTS at this point.

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Joe Gagill in Loch Sheldrake, New York

24 months ago

HRpro in Lenexa, Kansas said: I work in HR and here's how I handle things. When a job posting is posted on the company website and applicants start applying, I scan through EVERY application/resume that is submitted. I even check the rejection bin, because I know the computer system sometimes reject really good potential employees. I phone all the people i'm interested in and go over their application and let them explain any gaps or short term employment. If i get a good vibe from the person, then I will have them come in for a face to face interview.
I do not care for the thank you letters after the interview, most of the time my boss throws them away. My boss gets a little upset that I look at all application but so far all the people I hired are still here at the company. Hope this sheds a little light for everyone, I know not all HR personnel are like me, but I like to hire the right person the first time, so I go above and beyond to make it happen.

Is this a small or large company.

How long have you been in HR.

Thank you for the responses.

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Joe Gagill in Loch Sheldrake, New York

24 months ago

HRpro in Lenexa, Kansas said: I work in HR and here's how I handle things. When a job posting is posted on the company website and applicants start applying, I scan through EVERY application/resume that is submitted. I even check the rejection bin, because I know the computer system sometimes reject really good potential employees. I phone all the people i'm interested in and go over their application and let them explain any gaps or short term employment. If i get a good vibe from the person, then I will have them come in for a face to face interview.
I do not care for the thank you letters after the interview, most of the time my boss throws them away. My boss gets a little upset that I look at all application but so far all the people I hired are still here at the company. Hope this sheds a little light for everyone, I know not all HR personnel are like me, but I like to hire the right person the first time, so I go above and beyond to make it happen.

Also, percentage wise how many resumes come in nowadays with a 6 month or more gap???

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: Thankfully, my folks stay well informed and know about the lack of a job market. Also thankfully, my folks are in Florida, I'm in Maryland...... I love them, living with them would drive all of us NUTS at this point.

That's risky. They could disconnect the phone, move and not leave a forwarding address. LOL!

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

24 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: That's risky. They could disconnect the phone, move and not leave a forwarding address. LOL!

Well, there is always my brother. He lives in NJ (3 hour drive from here, one floor of his 2 story house is more space than my whole humble tiny abode) and keeps his boat less than an hour from where I live. Could I live on his boat? Nope. Too H O T during the summer (no a/c), too cold in the winter.

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

Some of these tips were pretty obvious... who includes a picture? Only the young include high school info.

I had an HR person at a large construction firm help me write an objective statement. (I wasn't applying, she was helping out a coworkers daughter.) If it was outdated, I'm sure she would have told me.

And what makes a design on the resume "fancy?" I use an image as my header - I was told this reduces scam/spam that tracks text for emails and phone numbers. Basically, it's the same info that you would put at the top of your resume, but in a .jpg inserted at the top of the page. Too fancy?

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

Michele in San Antonio, Texas said: I had an HR person at a large construction firm help me write an objective statement. (I wasn't applying, she was helping out a coworkers daughter.) If it was outdated, I'm sure she would have told me.

I am of the opinion that resumes, at least in the tech industry, are going the way of the telephone booth. In my industry, I have filled out a few apps, where there is no place to do the "cut and paste" schtick anymore.

I have tossed the 32lb ivory colored resume paper with matching envelopes long ago. The faxed resume died and the attachment is next to go into the museum. That's just my 2 cents.

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Michele in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

Well... I'm not in the tech industry. I wouldn't even claim to have had a career. I just need a *job* and I'm not being too picky.

I worked in retail, I don't want to work in retail anymore. Anything else that will pay some bills while I go to college would be nice.

Nearly everything I apply for does request a resume. Does that mean they even look at it? I know I made it to a second interview before the person speaking to me even looked at it! So maybe not...

IF they use it, IF they look at it, how it's represented WILL matter. The paper grade, the embossing, the scented envelopes, that crap went away decades ago. Resumes have evolved, but I doubt they're gone for good.

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