Resume Job Hoarders: The Intervention

Who in their right mind would collect resumes? While there certainly are some recruiters suffering from a bit of OCD when it comes to resume gathering, we're not exactly talking about hoarding from their perspective. Nope, we're talking about a much more serious problem when it comes to resumes. Let's start at the beginning. Obviously, any recruiter will be able to tell you that the overwhelming majority of resumes they receive aren't good, in fact horrible, but exactly what makes them so unimpressive? It has to do with several key items, and one area in particular is an area that the resume hoarders just can't let go of. Guess what, you most likely fall into this category. Consider this your intervention.

In your field, regardless if you're in waste disposal or finance, you want a very sharp, crisp, and professional presentation to show prospective employers. They like a nice clean easy to follow story and they’re not interested in a lot of information that is not relevant to what they do or the job they have open. With attention spans these days you want to hit them right between the eyes with the right message and information. For example, you never want to include the kitchen sink thinking that's the only way people will get it. In fact, every last detail of your life and work history just detracts from the message you want to get across. The key is that what hiring managers, recruiters, and HR people see and look for on a resume doesn’t usually match up with what the job seeker sees and deems important.

The tendency for many is to think that all of my experience going back forever adds up to an impressive overall picture. Wrong! Again, you're thinking from your perspective and not the hiring manager, recruiter, or HR person. From having seen hundreds of thousands of resumes, it's clear that people are afraid to leave off any experience, even it's a one or two year job 25 years ago, for fear that somehow this will be helpful to a prospective employers. People even do incorrect things like saying up top on a resume that they have 20, 30, or 40 years of experience. You're not helping your cause. Consider this too as you're trying to break free from hoarding your past experience. Nobody cares. Companies are interested in recent and relevant experience. That's it. Also, listing every last job you had within one company is also hoarding and not the correct way to do it 90% of the time.

So here's the dilio. Unless there is an incredibly good reason, which there usually isn't, listing every last employer and job you have had going back to BC is not a positive to employers. You lose freshness, which isn't good. Keep that in mind. Employers like fresh. It's a topic for another day, but there are some craftily sneaky ways in which quality resume writers can package this older information to be a positive and not show everyone your age. Yes, employers can't discriminate based on age, but guess what. Let them meet you in-person and see what a great catch you are before dating yourself. Before you feel too bad about your resume, the other half makes an equally egregious mistake by not including enough quality information on their resume to have a useful presentation.

Reprinted by Permission: Professional Recruiter Org