‘I’ve looked at over 40,000 résumés, and these are the 3 most annoying things I’ve seen’
Samantha Lee/Business Insider
When Tina Nicolai began working as a recruiter for Walt Disney World in the late 1990s, she noticed that many job seekers were submitting flawed résumés.
“I realized people simply did not know how to market themselves or their achievements,” Nicolai tells Business Insider. “And that’s how I knew there was a market to educate job candidates at all levels and in all industries.”
So in 2010, she founded Résumé Writers’ Ink.
“Since launching my company, I’ve read over 40,000 résumés,” she says. And there are a few things she’s seen over and over again that are “pretty irritating.”
She says: “These are the three most annoying things I’ve seen: Summaries that are way too long; overused résumé jargon; and appearing too formal and rigid.”
Summaries are annoying, she explains, when they are written in a formal tone and include too many adjectives. “After a while, the summaries can read like a lengthy chapter in a book. It’s better to list a few bullets with pointed achievements and a branded tag line stating, ‘known for achieving XYZ.’”
Meanwhile, résumé jargon such as “out-of-the-box,” “team player,” and “exceptional communicator” are “baseline expectations in today’s market,” Nicolai says. “A person who truly is a ‘unique problem solver who works well in teams’ will convey this succinctly and creatively on their résumé through a combination of few words and imagery.”
Lastly, she says she finds overly formal résumés annoying, because they’re not engaging and don’t allow the reader to get a good sense of the applicant’s personality.
The next time you go to submit your résumé, make sure it’s clear of these three things.
Read more about what not to include on your résumé here.
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