We’ve all felt it.
The moment we receive an email, document, PowerPoint Deck, or some other material from someone and this feeling of overwhelm comes over us.
It’s too much.
The wording, the layout, it all feels heavy and you’re immediately turned off as the consumer or begin wondering when you’ll muster up enough energy to go through it because it’s going to take a lot of effort.
There’s also the opposite.
The email, document, PowerPoint Deck, or some other material from someone comes through and this feeling of lack of substantial content comes over us.
Lack of effort.
Not enough meat.
Flat out not trying.
The wording, the layout, it all feels like there’s no depth or more significantly, no reason to continue reading.
Your resume and its content can have the same effect.
Most people don’t write resumes often, so when they do, they sit down to compose the document and fill it, consciously or unconsciously, with everything they are feeling about their present circumstances and the feelings they have about what they want the outcome of the resume to produce.
That’s a lot of feeling and a lot of pressure.
No wonder so many resumes don’t move on beyond the six second recruiter glance and end up lost in the black hole of online applications forever.
Not to mention, with the infrequency of writing a resume comes the lack of experience or knowledge about modern formatting and aesthetics to get it to stand out, but that’s an entirely different subject. Today, we’re talking all about the vibe the content of a resume puts out.
I have spent a lot of time with resumes in my career.
During my 16-year career in HR, I was always involved with recruiting and hiring at all levels of an organization. In my coaching business the last four years, through professionally writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles for clients, I have honed the ability to tell someone’s story and bring to life their natural strengths and passions.
In all the thousands and thousands of resumes over the years, one thing I know for sure – people have the best intentions, but they are completely unaware of the vibe and subsequent message their resume is sending.
Now, in full disclosure, I am intuitive, so picking up on the vibe and energy of a person through their resume is simply part of who I am. It has also been my experience most people working in a people field, like recruiting or those making hiring decisions, follow their gut instinct about the vibe of a resume. So, this isn't just a Lesha thing.
Today, I am going to share twelve vibes or feelings that commonly come through with resumes from all levels of professionals, from early career to highly experienced executives.
1. Hope and naïve. This comes across in a resume with very simple formatting and not a lot of detail. It’s usually from someone who doesn’t have any idea what it really takes to get through an Applicant Tracking System or catch the eye of a recruiter.
2. Excitement and deserving. This is a resume with simple formatting and content. The person is excited and believes in their heart that they’ve done good work in the past and have earned the next opportunity.
3. Lackadaisical. This resume can be simple or more complex in formatting and content. The vibe that comes through is that I am just applying for jobs because it would be cool to get a new one. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
4. I’m miserable, I want out. This resume can be overly simple or way too much content. The vibe is desperation. In desperation, they are willing to do whatever it takes, including even going backwards in title and experience level, to get out.
5. I’ve been used and am over it. This one really comes through in the choice of words and how you describe you work. We all know situations like this – a person has performed decently, the company has appreciated their contribution, but they have come to a standstill. Eventually, the person feels used and that completely comes through in the resume.
6. I will strong arm you into believing I’m ready for the next step. This person has usually been doing jobs with responsibilities at a higher level than their current job title, so they are trying to prove they deserve the next step. This is about the amount of content and the choice of words describing their work. They are throwing every ounce of experience they have to the paper. Wording is very aggressive, but you believe it’s showing power and impact. It’s not. It’s showing aggression and entitlement.
7. I don’t know if I am worth it, you tell me. Losing confidence at work is unfortunately, so common. When someone loses confidence, it is so difficult to put themselves out there to look for the next job. When they do, their resume sends the vibe of their insecurity and that the decision of whether they can do the job or not is completely up to the person looking at the resume.
8. Entitled - I am better and more experienced than everyone and you would be an idiot to pass me up. Yep, this resume exists. It usually comes across with a lot of content and feels very overwhelming to consume. Sometimes when a resume has too much content, it sends the message they are trying to inflate their experience to land a job or that they are literally the best and have the best experience anyone has ever seen. It very well may be true, but from the consumer side of the resume, it’s a lot and a total turn-off.
9. I have impressive job titles, but I don’t have to put in effort to impress you. We tend to see this at all levels, but especially in people who carry Director and above titles. They believe they can pass with super simple formatting and little to no detail. The titles should be enough to show people what they have done. What these people don’t know is that they are actually downgrading their experience and work history because of the way their resume content comes across.
10. I really messed up and don’t know that I deserve something great. I see this a lot in resumes of people who have been fired. They know they made a mistake and are living with the shame of it and there’s this awkward reality of they know they can do the work, but they feel like they deserved to be punished. This vibe completely comes out in a resume.
11. I’m uncomfortable taking credit or being in the spotlight, so you should hire me for being a team player and what “we” did. Talking about our strengths and what we’re good at isn’t easy for everyone, but I do believe it is a skill that can be developed in everyone. This resume is filled with content that essentially outlines job descriptions and you’re hard pressed to find anything that actually resembles an accomplishment or result.
12. If they don’t hire me because of my resume, I don’t want to work there. People put out this vibe when they feel like people should get hired through other means than a resume, they are attempting to buck the system, or believe it’s crap that recruiters only look at resumes for six seconds. This vibe also comes through with people who use the generic resume templates in Word because it pulls through the energy of the engineer who created the template, not the person who’s populating it with their own information.
Your vibe and intentions in creating your resume and applying for jobs comes through loud and clear.
When I write resumes and LinkedIn profiles for people, it isn’t just about the job content. I focus on their natural strengths, what aspects of their work they love, and their reputation in what they are known for at work.
A resume should tell the story of who you are, what you’re great at, and what you want to spend your time doing. When you approach creating your resume with that vibe and intention, it will undoubtedly attract a better job to you that is in more alignment with what fulfills you and makes you happy.
To be honest, this is the reason I created Your Modern Resume Bundle – I believe everyone deserves to get full credit for their work and to be in jobs that align with what makes them happy and sometimes it takes getting help from someone on the outside.
What vibe is your resume sending?
Your Modern Resume is created by Lesha Reese, who has taken everything she knows from 16+ years in Human Resources, leading recruiting teams and being apart of thousands of hiring decisions, and channeled it into three comprehensive, step-by-step guides that not only teach you the high level approach to resumes, but the actual execution of creating one that works for you. You can learn more at YourModernResume.com