And since I've just brought it up, again, proofreaders. They'll be very helpful in assisting you with providing some subjective judgments about how well you've achieved the good/bad thing. By the way, I'm not the only one harping about having proofreaders. Save me the complaining that you don't have time to get it to somebody else before you send it off for the application deadline. The reason that doesn't work with me? I'm one of those procrastinators who does this and I know from my own experience that when I claim that I don't have time to have it proofread, two things are going on. 1) I've not been as efficient as I might be about the whole procedure and 2) I know my docs are full of problems and I just don't want one of my friends to see how badly I can mess things up. Worse yet, from my experience two things are about to happen: 1) I'm not going to get to interview stage and 2) I've just showed how badly I can mess things up to somebody who might have been willing to pay me a lot of money to do a job I'd really like. At least my friends who serve as proofreaders are somewhat duty-bound to forgive me especially if my mistakes don't affect them, potential recruiters have no impetus whatsoever to do so. I've been there, I want to save you the pain of self-inflicted job application injuries.
But enough about my bad example. Let's go on to the bad examples of others.
This is bad:
- includes too much minutia. Recruiters won't read the whole thing, and will miss the points where the candidate shines
- too sketchy to know if the applicant actually can do the job we have
- dates not specific enough to be able to add up time to meet minimum requirements of experience (including whether position was full time or part time and how many hours)
- gives me the sense that you can identify salient accomplishments/responsibilities and communicate them well
- that you've researched the position and highlighted positions that are relevant
- easy to read, not too long
- describes the former positions in a way that makes me want to ask the candidate questions about the job
- presentation that allows quick understanding and finding of needed skills and experience
- clarity of presentation; easy to find the most important information like education and professional experience
- good is organized, clear, easy to pick out connections to qualifications, standard fonts and layouts
- clearly laid out and easy on the eye - reviewers are looking at mounds of paper. briefly but clearly lay out job duties, with numbers where appropriate, and exceptional achievements
- clear, organized, and detailed yet succinct. Longer is generally better than too short and therefore missing critical information and relevant skills
- organization. Find me a job that doesn't ask for organizational skills--here's your chance to shine!
- Type large enough to be read by middle-aged middle-managers (I have to admit I'm charmed by this one. But I would suggest not heading for the 26 point type.)
- comprehensive without being too wordy and is always proofread to the hilt (see? It's not just me)
- well organized, brief/to the point, NO MISTAKES
- how well it is written
- credentials and experience match position being sought
- easily readable, sufficient white space to be able to rest eyes, only as long as it needs to be
- shows how the individual meets the criteria for the job - both minimums & preferred requirements
- readable/scannable format
- effectiveness in demonstrating a career and educational path leading to this position
- I should be able to verify what you are telling me. Give me the necessary information to do so, please (i.e. if you say you're detail-oriented, give us something in your past experience that will prove it)
- Organization, word choice, positive presentation of individual - what do you know about them from CV/resume
Oh, and an addition to that one about scannable formats. Some automated systems are set up so that the initial choices are made by an automated scanning system checking for specific keywords. These things are pretty sophisticated these days and can cope with a lot, but a few of them are running with old systems that still really only deal well with Times New Roman. Keep it simple. You won't confuse the automated systems and though I do have a certain aesthetic appreciation for interesting fonts, I'm more than happy to see TNR in job application materials. If I were interested in your desktop publishing experience or personal creativity, I'll be listing that in the KSAs.
Finally, the ones who said "this is good and this is bad" because I think the juxtaposition tells you a lot about where the lines are--what you need to do to reach a balance between these competing demands for structure and content.
- A good cv is concise and descriptive, a bad one is just a list.
- walks the fine line between too much and not enough information
- good resume - highlighting especially relevant qualifications and down-playing weaknesses. I noticed quite a few resumes that did not highlight great experiences that would have been an asset in the position so it was difficult to separate out those qualified candidates Bad resumes - too many bells and whistles and not enough substance. A nice font color is not going to get you a job.
- Good: concise, clear, organized, no weird funky fonts or bizarre layouts. Bad: typos, disorganized, attempts to be "clever," unless the job is one that requires that skill!
- good is clear, concise, easy to read. A bad resume leaves you with questions. Why is there a gap in employment, why did someone leave a good job for a lesser job
- Bad: Messy, typos, strange formatting, grammatical errors, lack of uniformity, irrelevant information Good: Resume or CV that is geared towards the position description