Resume Pet Peeves

I have had the opportunity to review a number of resumés recently as we are filling some vacancies at AT&T. I am amazed with what I see sometimes. But instead of talking about the standard errors (misspellings, job gaps, etc.), I want to hit a few of the things I see that make me question if I even want to interview someone.

  • Future dating a credential – I‘ve seen this a number of times. XXX credential “expected XXX, 20XX.”  That is not helpful and makes me think the only reason you put it on there is because you saw that we were giving preference to (or have a requirement of) holding such a credential to get the job. If you don’t have the credential, you don’t have the credential! I might even forgive such a faux pas if the exam had been passed and the candidate was simply working toward an experience requirement. In many cases the people ultimately admitted they had not even taken the exam yet.
  • Future dating a degree – I get it if you are in the middle of your final semester and only have one or two classes to finish, but when the expected date is a year or more out, you are not close enough to receiving your degree. Putting such information on a resumé, while not an outright lie, is tantamount to padding a resume and makes me wonder what in your actual experience and obtained degrees is insufficient.
  • Espousing non-existent leadership experience – I see all types of references to leadership, but reality is if you have not been responsible for evaluating someone’s work and/or making decisions on potential pay raises, then you really haven’t managed anybody. Don’t try to make it sound like you had experience and responsibilities that you never had.

The bottom line is your resumé should be about actual experience and accomplishments. Interviewers know we are unlikely to find someone who is a perfect match for our job. We are working to find someone who would most likely be successful based on their actual qualifications, not some made up “I might be here someday” person. Adding all those future items just leaves interviewers wondering about other instances where you may be stretching the truth or being untruthful.

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