Today’s Resumes are so Dumb and Dull

You would think that resumes would get better with all the help available on the Internet. Who can avoid the pop up ads, headlines blaring, “The 5 worst things you can add to your resume”, or “The 5 top strategies for the perfect resume”, or “Free resume templates” and so on. Some of the advice is quite good and sensible — no spelling errors, double space, two pages maximum, sell don’t tell — but in the end it all boils down to one question: “Is my resume good enough to get me an interview?”

In the old days—a mere 15 years ago—resumes were typed on a word processor or fancy IBM Selectric (with the cool golf ball typeface), directly onto creamy vellum paper with only a small bottle of Whiteout at the ready for any errors. Resumes were sent by snail mail, with cover letters carefully attached like talisman, to alert the recipient to the treasure that lay within. Each resume cost about $2.00 in materials to send and it took about three weeks to get a reply back. If you mailed two applications a week you were doing well. You might be competing with twenty or thirty applicants; fifty to seventy-five if the position was advertised in the Career Section of the Saturday Globe or Toronto Star.

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