Monday, June 21, 2010

Resume Pet Peeve

I realize that even having pet peeves is obnoxious. Nevertheless, I really hate it when resumes (we are looking at some this week for the person who is to replace me) have a bullet point list of the duties associated with the job and the entries in the list are not in the same grammatical category, e.g.,

Massive Oil Company, Melbourne, Australia, 2008-2010
  • Worked extensively with Aries.
  • Finding and maintaining city and county records.
  • Assist engineers with daily tasks.
Bah! Fie on thee!


Sally said...

I think it's a very common piece of writing advice to use parallel structure so this is not an idiosyncratic annoyance nor an inappropriate one for a resume-reviewer IMO. (When I was writing my first resume, the guide I used indicated the importance of using matching grammatical structure in the bullet points.)

At my first job, we had someone send in a (paper) resume printed in red ink, which my boss, who was Chinese, reacted really badly to - I guess that red ink has bad connotations in China. It was a arguably a pet peeve, but still a stupid choice on the part of the applicant.

Tam said...

The particular resume I was looking at had about 30 of those bullet points (for various jobs) and they were consistently mixed as to part of speech. Drove me a bit nuts.

For most jobs, my understanding is that you do not want your resume to stand out in any way due to formatting, choice of paper, etc. (unless perhaps it stands out as "the only one that is not all fucked up").

I think red is lucky in China, so I'm surprised that red ink would be bad, but there's no reason to print a resume in red to begin with. I think if you're applying for something like a graphic design job then you have a reason to have a flashy (or at least designed) resume, perhaps, but for the rest of us, no.

rvman said...

The color red is associated with luck, courage, and such, but red ink specifically is used for obituaries almost exclusively. It would be kind of like creating a resume with a thick black border around it.

Sally said...

So basically, the red ink resume says your application is dead on arrival.