While Ickis, Oblina and Krumm from Aaaah!!! Real Monsters were more likely to entertain than scare us, the monsters that plague the job search process are nothing to laugh at. I’ve seen some scary resumes, and there are a few legendary resume monsters that need to be captured for the good of all villagers.
The Kitchen Sink Monster
This resume monster is all about more! Add everything you've ever done to your resume. Make it 3+ pages and bore recruiters with irrelevant information, hiding your relevant and transferable skills under a mound of unnecessary action verbs and accomplishments that are too far in the past to make an impact.
How do you combat this resume monster? Garlic? Maybe. Backspace on the keyboard? Definitely. For traditional resumes and early-to-director level applications, you want to trim down your resume to 1 page (ideally) or 2 pages (max). C-Suite resumes can be longer but should still be a max of 4 pages; your professional summary and portfolio will be the more expansive piece. For federal resumes, you’ll want to throw in detailed info, and this resume is likely to be long. It may rival the Kitchen Sink Monster, but its content is purposeful. The only place that the Kitchen Sink Monster should be is in its natural habitat, LinkedIn; there it thrives and is easily understandable.
The Changeling Monster
This resume monster may be the most common one. It can be found in its natural habitat under “resume template” Google searches. The Changeling looks like thousands of other poorly formatted resumes that were downloaded from the internet. This monster can be devastating to its human; after all, the last thing you want is for your resume to blend in with all of the others. You can also find this monster lurking in Canva examples and Microsoft Word templates.
How do you escape the clutches of this terrifying monster? Start from a simple Word doc and start creating your resume. Use the tools of “tab,” “space” and “enter” to tailor your resume format and make it easier to utilize the space on your resume.
The Cross Eyed Monster
This resume monster uses colors and headshots to scare its victims’ job and internship opportunities away.
How do you make sure this monster doesn’t scare away opportunity? Never have your photo on your resume unless you are an actor. While pictures on resumes may be a common practice in some countries, it is better to leave the headshot off your resume in the U.S. Adding color line segments in the left hand border of your resume is a great way to bring attention to your resume. And, a bit of color or design detail may set your brand aesthetic up. Go overboard, though, and your resume will metamorphose into a monster that will make anyone who reads it go cross eyed and lose all interest. If you want to show off your creative skills, create a portfolio or start an Instagram and add that URL to the resume header.
The Detailed Monster
This resume monster will certainly bring a curse and many a restless night. It preys on our desire to rush through resumes/job applications and not proofread. It especially grows in power if you put on your resume “Detail Oriented…”, yet misspell a word.
How do you fight this monster? Proofread, proofread, proofread. Have someone review your resume, whatever it takes. Make sure you dot those I’s and cross those T’s. An awesome editor has reviewed and corrected this very article (if you need some editing, email her at BrookeABrown@gmail.com)
There you have it my friends - four of the worst resume monsters out there. This is by no means an exhaustive list, though. What monster resumes have you seen out there, and how can we protect ourselves?