Dear College Kids...A Tip On Resumes

Jan 06 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Get some help when you write resumes. Please please please, I beseech thee.

Virtually ever university and college has a career services department that will help you write a resume if haven't before and will edit one for you.

This rant is because of a resume that came across my desk today for a summer intern and how doth it offend me:
-"I am a fast learner" in the objective sentence. Okay champ. Don't ever put fast learner, lets just assume you aren't dumb.
-Proficient in MS Word and Excel. So are most people with a high school diploma and a damn pulse. Shouldn't you put more substantiative things on your resume?
-Don't leave the honors and awards section of the resume empty. If you haven't achieved anything of note, then you may want to cut that section out.
-When you put in your contact address, you did great putting your street address, state, and zip code but where the hell is the city?
-If your GPA is that low, don't put it out there for me to see.
-You actually misspelled the name of your service fraternity (Delta not Detla).
-Under relevant coursework, don't put biology, you are a goddamn biology major, I'm assuming you have already taken a biology course. Be more specific, was it molecular biology, immunology, etc.
-Last but not least: Use spellcheck numbnuts, you actually misspelled your state for fucks sake.

Future of America my ass.

17 responses so far

  • Dr. O says:

    Don’t leave the honors and awards section of the resume empty. If you haven’t achieved anything of note, then you may want to cut that section out.

    This is my favorite. 🙂

  • Pascale says:

    Misspelled the state? Pretty damn sad; and the lack of spell checking suggests s/he is not actually proficient in MS Word.

    • Yeah there must have been no spellcheck or even letting a buddy proofread. I think I'm going to email them and refer them to their career services office at their university and suggest they get help with their resume.

  • Alex says:

    .... I couldn't help but laugh when I just read this post ! I feel your frustration...

  • becca says:

    You might be shocked how many job ads list MS word and/or Excel. I think that's a pretty minor infraction, compared to the misspellings.
    How low was the G.P.A. anyway?

  • JaySeeDub says:

    I remember a resume that listed expertise with Lotus SmartSuite. I really really wanted to interview the guy that had spent more time with Lotus than MS Office Suite. Alas, I was shot down by my boss.

  • Bob O'H says:

    Proficient in MS Word and Excel. So are most people with a high school diploma and a damn pulse. Shouldn’t you put more substantiative things on your resume?

    I've seen that on CVs of people applying for post-docs. I'm fairly sure I've had claims of proficiency with Windows too.

    • I feel like now its becoming so standard you shouldn't even have to, maybe just put proficient with MS Office Suite. Save the space for major relevant skills.

    • Zuska says:

      At my first interview for a medical writing position, PhD in hand, two of the people interviewing me fussed a great deal because my resume did not indicate proficiency with MS Word. They were doubtful of my abilities.

      Later, interacting with industry folks who were on advisory boards for engineering programs - many of them were industry leaders - lots of them told me their GPAs were not great in college, and that this had never mattered after they got their first job. They were less inclined to care about overall GPA, more about upward progress of grades over course of a college career, and about what else a person brought to an interview - some demonstration they were capable of thinking and doing.

      • HFM says:

        Re: MS Word - I had the same thing happen to me as an undergrad (in 2008). I may have actually asked the interviewer if he was kidding. He was not. I believe I managed not to remind him that I had a high school diploma and a pulse, but it was a near thing.

        So yes, it's on my resume now. Never know when a half-asleep HR person is going to chuck your file because it doesn't have the magic words.

  • brooksphd says:

    LMFAO bro. I feel your pain.

  • a.b. says:

    @Anon-- talk about glass houses, you are in an invisible one. No one could throw a stone at you if they tried.

    I work at a university (I'm non-academic) and have to remind myself that the supposed idiocy I see in the students is probably exactly what was seen in me when I was one almost 10 years ago. But suppressing the "kids these days" impulse, I wonder how much erosion of sense has occurred in the history of academia (there's gotta be some, we don't really hit students with reeds or put them in chokeys).

    As for literacy on resumes, most high schools have some class that will focus on writing a simple resume. I think some of these are people who don't feel they need help or proofreading, or are waiting until the last minute.

    • I understand high school kids or freshmen having issues, but this is a 23 year old senior who is about to graduate in December and hit the job market. I may have some grammatical issues in my rant (which I drafted on a mobile device during a horribly boring videoconference) but I would take much more care in crafting a resume. A good resume can help your chances of getting a job but a poorly constructed one pretty much can kill your chances of getting a foot in the door for an interview even if you are a great candidate.

  • Kevin Z says:

    I always go through writing resumes with undergrads I've mentored. Even when they leave the lab. I view them as my legacy and want them to succeed (except the fucking med students at elite southern ivy-league wannabe university, fuck those worthless, lying shitnozzles). I am in contact with probably 80% of them still and give many career advice (like the kind of advice we talk about on these blogs, yes you should quit working for your unethical slave whore of a boss for making you fudge your data...).

    • I am in regular contact with many of the undergrads I taught and also sort of see them as a legacy, even the fucking med student assholes. I made my students, who were in a chemistry lab course, write a damn resume which I edited and worked with them on throughout the semester. As part of a bonus for the final I made them take it to career services and get it looked at. Most of these students were freshmen and sophomores and having a solid resume to work from will be invaluable for these guys.

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