Classic Countdown — In the month leading up to the fourth anniversary of this blog’s launch, I am sharing my favorite posts. This was published on May 23, 2012.
I‘m hiring for a communications person to join my team here at the American Red Cross. With one week until we close the applications process, I’ve already received nearly 150 online resumes.
I am surprised and impressed with the quality of most of these individuals. Some I’ve known for years. In fact, I’ve hired some as interns or freelance writers. Some are people I’ve gotten to know through local professional organizations or clubs. They are all good people and very qualified professionals. The hard part will be narrowing the list and then selecting the final individual.
Then, there are the other applicants. (Sigh!)
These are the ones who will not be working for me. Unless their luck changes, they won’t be working soon for anyone else, either. I have gone through the entire listing of online applications just to get a feel for each candidate. In most cases, I have Googled the person’s name. Unbelievably, some people have no digital footprint, but I’ll save those rantings for another blog post. I shouldn’t judge invisible people. Perhaps they are part of the Federal Witness Protection Program and don’t want to be found.
Anyway, I was amused as I came across the following examples of vapid communications from people who are trying to present themselves as communications professionals. My purpose is not to make fun of the well-intentioned people who want to work with me, but rather to help job seekers to see their resumes through the glazed-over eyes of a hiring manager.
The following examples have not been edited. They were copied and pasted from the actual applications. A word of warning, though: If you plan to be awake at the end of this post, you will need an extra shot of caffeine. So sit back and enjoy…
Objective: To use my skills to create a positive impact on people’s lives.
Everyone wants to make a positive impact, so tell me something new.
Objective: To obtain a challenging position in the field of event planning, fundraising, and/or program management in which I can use my organizational and interpersonal skills.
Next time read the job description. I’m not hiring for any of those positions.
Seeking a challenging opportunity where I may utilize my professional experience and educational background to enhance an organization’s overall goals and objectives through teamwork, excellent communication, extraordinary drive, and solid professionalism.
Sounds good, but that sentence has no more substance than stale cotton candy.
Objective: To lead a world-class customer focused organization and present a positive local company image by providing results in brand and education, with deliverable measurements. Background and professional experience in public relations, marketing and promotions, public speaking and event planning, as well as civic and community involvement.
I haven’t a clue what you’re looking for.
Obtain a position as a team-player in a people-oriented organization where I can maximize my experience in a challenging environment to achieve the corporate goals.
Did you copy and paste that from someone else’s resume. Seems like I’ve seen that before.
Multi-talented worker with years of experience, a self-starter, highly motivated: able to give and receive detailed instructions. Professional work ethic, with a genuine passion for her work.
With such a specific and differentiating description of who you are, I can almost envision you—over all the other candidates—being part of my team.
Objective: Seeking a position with a progressive company that allows advancement and opportunities to utilize my skills to accomplish company goals.
I’m getting bored!
CAREER OBJECTIVE: Find a challenging position enabling me to utilize my marketing and relationship building expertise.
You go, girl!
Profile Summary: Self-starting, goal-oriented individual whose perseverance, drive and dedication promote success. Demonstrates competence and poise in professional and social settings.
So, what does that mean? You don’t belch in public?
Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
100% of job applicants will say the same thing. How are you differentiated from them?
SUMMARYOF QUALIFICATIONS: I am an effective team leader with great time management and communication skills.
Creative and out-of-the-box thinker with 15+ years of marketing communications experience. Possess consistent record of developing and implementing high-impact marketing collateral to drive product revenues and profitability. Known for ability to reorganize and improve services and systems as well as successfully coordinate business projects. Expertly leverage technology to support enterprise- wide marketing and communications initiatives. Exhibit solid writing, editorial, and verbal communication expertise. Performance- focused and ambitious leader who inspires teams to work collaboratively to achieve organization goals.
If you’re a communicator, you certainly did not demonstrate your communications skills with that glob of verbosity.
CAREER OBJECTIVE: My objective is to obtain full-time employment that best utilizes my skill set.
Good luck, but you’re wasting my time!
SKILLS AND MOTIVATION: I am a motivated self starter with a degree in education. I’m confident that I have much to contribute towards a support unit, with high energy, good communication skills, and a positive outlook on life. I enjoy people, and I’m ready to get to work for a company who makes a difference in the world.
So, you enjoy people and want to make a difference in the world? Finally, I’ve found what I’ve been looking for! When can you start?