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Robert Scoble on Why (Most) Resumes Suck

October 6th, 2008 · 5 Comments

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Tech guru and blogging celebrity Robert Scoble is hiring for his current company.

His strong conviction is that most resumes suck.

First, based on the resumes I’m seeing, realize that 80% are crap and will be rejected out of hand. How do you get put into the crap pile? Here’s some ways.

1. Include only an attachment and don’t write anything in the body of the email.
2. Include a misspelling.
3. Apply for a job which you are clearly unqualified for (it stands out like a sore thumb).
4. Include a Word document that can’t be opened (one person sent one in Microsoft Word 2007 format).
5. Include only a resume and don’t explain why you think you are qualified for the job (believe it or not, a well written letter puts you to the top 20% pretty quickly).
6. Send it from an email address with a goofy name. You should see some of them that I’ve gotten.
7. Apply for a job for which you are clearly overqualified for (I got one resume from a software engineer).
8. Have your friend send in a resume for you (I got one of these, actually).
9. Don’t test your email on a variety of clients (a bunch that I received were poorly formatted, had characters that didn’t display properly, etc).
10. Send it from free version of Hotmail, which puts an advertisement at the end of your email. Looks very professional when all I see is the ad and nothing else.

I don’t think that last point about Hotmail is so very important for most job seekers. Scoble is writing for, and trying to hire from, a very tech-heavy audience. Being in tech and still having a Hotmail account shows a certain lack of tech savvy and sophistication. Especially with the little ad at the end.

But for most mainstream jobs, I don’t think the hotmail address or the ad at the end of the email would be a deal breaker. The hiring manager probably has a hotmail account herself.

Scoble also has an EXCELLENT list of 7 ways your resume can successfully avoid the crap pile.

Click through to his original post to read the full list.

Related posts:

  1. Professional Email Addresses And Why They’re A Good Idea
  2. Live Mesh Might Help Windows Not Suck

Tags: Resumes

  • Joel

    Who is Richard Scoble?

  • Brian

    Thanks, Joel. Good catch on a typo I can’t really account for! :)

  • Joel

    No prob! (You might want to rock the URL too.)

  • Barbara Safani

    Spot on! Here’s another one…resumes full of fluff words such as good communicator, team player, detail oriented… with no proof of these attributes…gag!!! Resumes need to focus on accomplishments and impact to be taken seriously.

  • Pierce

    Scoble picks up on many common mistakes in his post. I think a key is to try and stand out in the crowd. A cool online resume (that can be public or private) would be a great way to do this. gives job seekers a free way to do this. But, you have to avoid the mistakes Scoble talks about, regardless of format.

    Full disclosure: I work there but it’s a great tool for job seekers.