Management: Poll regarding resumes

There was an article on MSN this morning, 8 resume mistakes, or something to that effect.

In it, it says that you should not use the word ‘I’. It gives an example, something like:

should be re-written as:

I have heard this advice for many years. But as a hiring manager myself, I can say that I just don’t care which style they use - I’m interested in the content, in the background, in their abilities. In short, will they fit the position.

Managers, what is your input? Do you care? Do you notice? Would it sway you at all?

I’m not so fussed about how people write their resumes. Its the content I’m interested in as Khadaji said “the background, in their abilities. In short, will they fit the position.”

As long as it shows correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar – of course, I’m usually interviewing for editors, so any mistakes along those lines get a free pass to the reject pile.

The trick is not to use too many I’s. I did this, I did that, I did the other, gets boring.

Yes, I’m interested in content over format, but I’m expecting a reasonable format, as well. Someone who can’t think about the audience/reader, for instance, isn’t going to make it in my org.

Hiring manager for the last 12 years here -

Resumes that I will reject almost instantly go pretty much according to the following:

  1. LOTS of bad spelling mistakes, grammar, etc. - one or two isn’t a big bother, but when I start having doubts about the person’s ability to communicate, the thing hits the reject pile.

  2. Self-aggrandizing. Yeah, too many “I’s” tend to head in that direction, but so do generally overblown listings of experience and accomplishments written in any form.

  3. Instant “no-fit” for the job. For instance, I’m hiring an engineer and a quick look at the education of the individual shows that it ended at high school - I don’t have the time for that.

  4. ANY resume longer than three pages when I’m looking for senior people and ONE PAGE if I’m looking for an entry level person. If I want more information, I will ask for it, believe me.

  5. Hand written resumes and cover letters. Yes. You’d be surprised how many I’ve gotten over the years. Word processors and printers are available at any Kinko’s, most public libraries, etc. Hell, go to a flea market and buy a 30 year old typewriter for Pete’s sake!

I also tend to toss the ones that arrive on stupid colored paper with impossible to read text and similar “notice me” gimmicks. I’ve had them show up with white ink on black paper, bright flourescent orange paper, scented paper etc.

Other than that, I read them all.

That wouldn’t be a problem. Like the others, I don’t like to see spelling mistakes or blowing up trivial accomplishments. A hot button for me is too many jobs of too short tenure, and a long time between them, especially when things are hot. There are few enough people with expertise in my area that most of the filtering has to do with skills.

There’s often so many resumes to go through, I save myself plenty of time by scanning the resume for any spelling mistakes. Even one and it hits the recycle box. I can eliminate half.

I figure if a person can’t bother to take the time to carefully proof the only thing they have to represent themselves to a potential employer, then why would I expect them to bother to take the time to do work with any degree of reliability.

Good thing this isn’t my resume. I forgot to even address the OP. I like to see a creative streak, possibly shown by writing “I did this and that” in a manner which doesn’t look like “I did this and that”. However, it’s not going to find its way into the recycle bin on the basis of too many "I"s alone.

As one currently sending out many resumes, perhaps the reason the “I” is so frowned upon is that the resume belongs to you. Why would one have to further qualify responsibilites and skills by repeatedly using “I”? Just explain what you did.

Resumes don’t mean squat to me. Whenever I interview people, the resume only serves to weed out those that are obviously unqualified. Bad grammar on your resume hurts, and I don’t care if you use the word “I” or not. Once you’re in the interview, I generally don’t look at the resume any more. Your answers to the interview questions are all that matter to me.

Yeah, I wouldn’t mind it. I agree that it’s a little unusual to write in first person but it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

This is timely, as I’m in the midst of a job search. A lot of companies just direct me to send my resume to HR. I’d like to do some follow up, but I don’t want to come off as pesky. I imagine HR deals a lot with hopeful applicants–should I try to talk to one of them or not?

Spelling mistakes are in instant trip to the trash can. No excuse on something as important as a resume.