Too Much Tech Speak

One of the resumes I reviewed today went overboard with the technology terminology.  The job seeker worked in the aircraft industry.  In their most recent job, they listed the models numbers of 19 separate components.  These models weren't airplane models like 747.  They were the model of valves, servos and electronic controls. 

It should be obvious that this level of detail should be avoided.  The type of equipment that this individual has experience with can be summarized very effectively in a few words.  Instead, the job description is nearly 500 words.  I'm a strong proponent of short, concise resumes, and recommend 250-500 words.  That's for the entire resume – not just one job.  Then entire resume was over 900 words long. 

This is far too long.  The level of detail is too high and it's a very tough read.  Few hiring managers are going to read much of this resume.  Most will discard it.

The resume is made even worse by a major omission.  The job seeker failed to include his job title. I can guess what job this person was doing, but it's only a guess.  Without a job title, it makes it very difficult to assess the job seeker. 

I think I know what happened that led to a resume this bad.  The job seeker started writing about their current position.  He is proud of the range of technical expertise and wrote in great detail, including specific information intended to impress a hiring manager.  Once written, it was absolutely clear to the job seeker what their employment entailed and they forgot to include a job title.  They may also feel that a job title pigeon holes them in a way that misses some of their capability.

A hiring manager looks at a resume from a different perspective.  It's likely the hiring manager is not a technical expert.  They may not understand the significance of many of the terms used, and will disregard this information.  Terms that help categorize the job seeker are very helpful and the job title is at the top of the list. 

We're moving into a tougher economy.  Think about how this resume will be reviewed. 

An ad is posted for a technical position by a large aircraft component's manufacturer.  This job seeker sends in their resume.  In a strong economy, the company usually gets a couple hundred resumes.  With unemployment rising they could get more than a thousand. 

The first step in the screening process is for a human resources representative to review the resumes, and cut get the total down.  A good goal might be to cut the 1,000 resumes down to less than 100.  This means that 90% of the resumes get eliminated by someone that is not a technical expert. 

There is a very good chance that this job seeker will get rejected at this stage.  The screener just doesn't have the time to figure out what the job seeker did.  They have a thousand resumes – they're going to find some good people.