Monkeys Reading Resumes

A couple of years ago, I read a very interesting post over on the Executive Career Coaching blog.  The post is still online.  You can read it here.

In the post, Carl Schumacher writes that you should write your resume as if a monkey was going to read it.

Carl writes,

“If you were driving down the street and you saw a Billboard but you couldn’t make out what it said because the worlds were too small and the message was hidden in a thousand words, you would probably not understand it or crash your car trying to figure it out.
But on the other hand, if it said “EAT AT JOE’S” there would be no mistaking the message.

So is my message when referring to your resume. If you were trying to show something to a monkey you wouldn’t do it quietly or subtlety. You would be obvious about what you were doing. You’d talk simple to a monkey — Monkey want a Banana? Monkey want a toy? — straight forward and obvious.”

Carl makes an excellent point.

Too often I have had tremendously qualified candidates write resumes that are vague or do not spell out in detail what their accomplishments are. The candidates try to be subtle in their approach. When I ask them to provide more detail or be more direct in their resume, the candidates will literally reply….”Well, the Hiring Manager will know what I mean.” or ” Any one who is in the industry will know that I have that type of instrumentation experience. I don’t have to spell it out on the resume.”

But that type of thinking is just plain wrong.

When you are writing a resume, you do have to be specific.
You do have to provide details.
You have to be simple and direct.

Or, as Carl Schumacher so aptly puts it….you gotta assume the person reading your resume is a monkey!!