In previous articles on this blog we talked about the opportunities for temporary staffing companies to expand their roles from mere matchmakers between temporary employment opportunities and temporary employees to become real mentors and advisors to those who register with their agency.
One of the most obvious areas where you can make that happen with minimal effort is in sharing your experience with bad resumes with your employees. Those of us who look at resumes everyday have long since abandoned any hope of relying on them much beyond the initial, cattle-call stage. There is so much that is incorrect, misleading, irrelevant and downright hokey in most resumes that they should come with a warning to the reader to elevate their feet well off the floor before beginning. In the temporary staffing industry particularly, the resume – at best – will end up as a link from your front office staffing software, but it will generally not drive the final decision of whether or not to make the resume writer a job offer.
There is no substitute for a well-designed, easy to use applicant database and tracking system. However since resumes are part of the landscape and will continue to be a part of the information base, you can at least counsel your applicants on the biggest no-no’s in resume writing. And here they are…
The ‘Top Ten Resume No-No’s in the History of the Universe’: ( This is 100% non-scientific and the product of absolutely no real research other than our own experience here at The Fackler Group.)
- Lying –Or in these politically correct times, including information that is not entirely factual.
- ‘Spelin’ and ‘grammir’ mistakes.
- Unexplained gaps in work history (usually tied in closely with number 1 above.)
- Outdated information – The fact that you were a whiz on the telex machine just doesn’t help.
- Opening objectives –These very often sound like some of the Q and A at the Miss America Pageant. The fact is you are probably not going to be a real player in the quest for world peace. Instead just state the obvious….you’re looking for a good position with a viable company and your experience and attitude will separate you from the herd if the kind reader will just hang in with you a little longer.
- Too Much Detail– Nobody wants to read how your previous employer made their sausage. Just say you made sausage.
- Too Long– I read some resume expert the other day who said more than five pages is too much. Five pages!!! Are you kidding? Two…maybe three, tops.
- Personal Attributes– The reader is seeking to hire a productive employee who will contribute to the enterprise’s reason for being: profits. They are probably not trolling resumes to find new soulmates.
- Interests, Hobbies– Really? It is very doubtful that the reader will be interested.
- Excessive bragging– Unless you really did advance the quest for world peace, don’t say you did.
Remember, particularly in the fast paced staffing industry, you need to get the applicant profile distilled down to quantifiable data that can be housed in a database and searched and manipulated as near to instantaneously as possible. That’s what good front office staffing software is for. Resume’s are a side salad to that entrée. We have long understood that principle in the temp staffing business. We think it applies to resume writing for broader distribution as well.
Of course there are tons of more scholarly articles on resume writing all over the net. We often refer prospective resume-writers to jobstar.org/tools/resume for good information on the subject.