Are You Better Off With a Bad Resume?

There exists a good recruiter who loves a bad résumé… who gets up every morning to feed his unicorn… Doesn’t sound plausible does it? At least, that’s what I thought before reading recruiter Scott McKearney’s rant about the ever-growing emphasis corporate recruiters place on finding the “perfect” resume. Here is an exceprt from his article, “Why Bad Resumes are Good for Great Recruiters”, posted here

 I am an independent contract recruiter/sourcing specialist. I am retained to locate great developers in software engineering. I presented a top notch developer to a Fortune 500 corporate recruiter who had just returned from some training workshop that had focused on how to read resumes. The resume I had was to the point and two pages long. It was a succinct summary of what the candidate had developed and with what software skills for the four employers he had worked for in six years. To me the resume was a dream. It took me only seconds to realize what I had and where he should be marketed. I sent the resume to three potential employers and the corporate recruiter I mentioned above had the best fitting opportunity for the candidate. I expected to hear from the recruiter very, very quickly. I heard nothing from him. It was not until I reached out and inquired of him if he had received the resume that I heard the scary news.

“Yes, I looked at that submission from you but the resume was of poor quality in the way it was organized and written. It struck me as a bunch of buzz words, very little proper summary of accomplishments-no articulation of objectives, had three typographical errors and the candidate is clearly a job hopper. This tells me the candidate does not measure up to our expectations for the articulate and stable professionals we are seeking. In fact, I have held a staff meeting among our recruiters and laid out new policies and metrics for how to evaluate the QUALITY of what we expect in a resume. If the resume does not reflect the quality of organization we expect we will not proceed. Your candidate did not make that cut.”

 I had to bite my lip-hard. I was ready to say: “you mean you are more interested in form than content when it comes to qualifying candidates??? That is insane!

In an ideal world, all recruiters would adopt McKearney’s mentality. But sadly, the search for the perfect resume only gains momentum in today’s saturated job market. Nowadays, the numbers may favor a recruiter actually finding that one-in-a-million resume. And when they do, the applicant it belongs to will undoubtedly get a call – whether they are the best candidate for the position or not.

 “What are the elements of a ‘perfect’ military resume?” you ask – Good question! A great military resume sells results, not years, to employers. It provides information relevant to the position, never failing to exclude information specifically asked for in the vacancy announcement. Finally, it tells the recruiter why you are the best fit for the job. 

 Truthfully, there is no such thing as a “perfect” resume. But the team at has years of experience in building the highest quality of military resumes possible. So until the corporate world jumps on McKearney’s bandwagon (and let’s hope they do), take steps to ensure your military resume is “perfect”.