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Continued: What Recruiters Hate About Résumés And Cover Letters

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Last update: June 12, 2008 - 10:42 AM

A boring résumé is one of the worst sins. The rule of thumb is simple: If they snooze, you lose (because your résumé will go in the trash).

Résumés filled with jargon, dry job descriptions, and lack of specific results bore the reader, according to Haley.

"Consider the reader. Remember, the people reading your résumé might not be that proficient at it. If they cannot see what they are looking for almost immediately, they might reject it, and if it's full of technical jargon, they might not understand it," says Haley.


Read your résumé to 2-3 friends to eliminate dull wording. You lost the audience if eyes glaze over or brows furrow. Revise the résumé until it holds your friends' attention to the end.

Haley offers another way to create a compelling résumé: "Use the 'So, what?' test. Any sentence on a résumé that causes a reader to think 'So, what?' probably means it's waffle. Reword it or take it off."

Don't Forget The Cover Letter

Don't alienate anyone who could help you get a job.

A missing cover letter alienates busy hiring professionals because it creates more work. They spend time trying to match your application to the open position and more time trying to uncover how you heard about the job.


Write and include a cover letter with every résumé, including those you send by e-mail.

Even a one-line cover letter in an e-mail is better than nothing, according to Larry Harris.

"You could simply write, 'I'm applying for your telemarketing software sales position. I spent five years doing that exact job. I'd be perfect for it!" he says.

Use these tips from hiring professionals to write a better résumé and cover letter next time you apply for that dream job.

Now, go out and make your own luck!


Kevin Donlin owns Minnesota based Guaranteed Résumé and writes a biweekly column providing job search and résumé writing advice. Reach him at the Guaranteed Résumé Web site:

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