How to ensure your resume goes immediately in the trash

We get several unsolicited resumes a day. Most go straight into the round file (the trash). I got one today that was so bad that I just had to blog about it, as it has all the classic no-hire reasons:

  • serves as the interface between executive management and engineering
  • resume has every technology and language listed you can think of, thus, no skills
  • background in data warehousing and web, a vast wasteland of failed implementations
  • tons marketing speak, “solutions”, “executives”, “synergies”, etc…
  • demonstrates zero understanding of our business, typical of the mass “pray and spray approach”

Here’s his cover letter, which I have left verbatim…

“I am capable of playing a great variety of roles; however my areas of greatest strength lie in guiding technical teams to deliver solutions that truly meet users’ expectations. My experience addresses all aspects of these efforts ranging from working with executive management on strategy and approach to helping developers resolve challenging technical issues and everything in-between.”

Do you remember that scene from “Office Space” where the Bobs ask Tom Smykowski, “So, what would you say you do here?” And the most that the useless Initech employee can come up with is that he brings the requirements to the engineers. When you look at this guy’s resume, it lists this…

Technical proficient with:
PHP, Microsoft IIS & ASP, XML, WebSphere, Java, JSP, JavaScript,
Apache, HTML/DHTML, AJAX, MySQL, Oracle, Teradata, SQL*Server, Oracle
Business Intelligence Suite, Cognos, Business Objects, Brio, Informatica,UNIX and Windows.

…along with every technology and language in the book. That’s called “buzzword bingo”. Yet, he’s not a programmer, based on this:

Senior technical leader, Manager/Consultant/Architect.
Extensive experience leading global teams composed of both technical and functional members of up to forty people working on multiple, concurrent efforts.
16 years of professional experience.

The economy is in the toilet, and so is the quality of candidates that come streaming in. But every once in a while, you find a star, and those folks are especially hard to find among the folks that are likely let go for good reason. The outlook for internet marketing is as hot as ever, and it’s still as hard to find folks, no matter what the economy. What’s your experience in finding good people?

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